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May 31, 2012

Cardinal Dolan fibbed about payout to pedophile priest

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service - Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk|May 31, 2012|

The Media Report.com, which takes up cudgels against what it considers media attacks on the Catholic Church, today assailed the NYT's Laurie Goodstein for a story criticizing the country's leading hierarch for, as they see it, just doing his darnedest to remove sex offenders from the priesthood asap.

In her latest Catholic Church-obsessed piece, Goodstein takes issue with the fact that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, when he was the Archbishop of Milwaukee a while back, approved a number of $20,000 settlements to rid the Church of abusive priests in a more time-efficient and expeditious manner – without long, drawn-out canonical or civil proceedings.

The problem the story poses for Dolan is not that he did such a thing, however, but that he didn't tell the truth about it back in the day.

The object of the exercise was to induce the sex offenders not to contest being defrocked--"laicized"--and thereby avoid a lengthy legal process in Rome. To that end, according to newly disclosed minutes of a March 2003 meeting of the Milwaukee archdiocese's finance committee, Dolan and his councilors discussed a proposal to “offer $20,000 for laicization ($10,000 at the start and $10,000 at the completion the process).”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 PM

About 120 'missing children' deaths tied to residential schools now ID'd

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - An intensive review of Ontario records has so far turned up more than 100 possible cases of previously unidentified child and youth deaths linked to Indian residential schools, the province's chief coroner said Thursday.

The information was gleaned from close scrutiny of about 5,000 death records selected from an initial screening of 250,000 records going back to the 19th century.

"It's staggering to think that families would not have known what happened to a child that was sent off to the residential schools," Chief Coroner Dr. Andrew McCallum told The Canadian Press.

"There was a huge vacuum of information. What was fed back to the immediate family was highly inconsistent."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 PM

Dolan’s “thunderous” silence

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Statement by Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director (Milwaukee)
CONTACT: 414.429.7259; 414.336.8575

In an email today to Catholic leaders in the Milwaukee Archdiocese “chief of staff” Jerry Topczewski once again admitted that unrestricted payouts were made to priest sex offenders by the Milwaukee Archdiocese as a “signing bonus” to quietly leave the priesthood. The payments have now, according to Topczewski, been stopped.

Is this not a clear admission that they were wrong in the first place?

And isn’t it time for Cardinal Dolan and his successor Jerome Listecki to acknowledge the deep moral wrong of taking Catholic charitable funds and funneling them to priest child molesters?

Topczewski, contradicting himself, also writes that the archdiocese made these payouts because the archdiocese is “canonically responsible for the financial care of a priest, even one who has committed child sexual assault…like it or not.”

Like it or not? Really?

The money to pay off these child molesters came from the hard earned contributions of loyal, faithful Catholics. It’s doubtful they are going to “like” discovering that their contributions were being deposited into the bank accounts of pedophile priests so that the men who raped and molested their children could disappear, as Topczewski writes, “into a new field of work”. Topczewski says these priest offenders used the money to seek secular employment, medical expenses, or training for new jobs. But these funds were given in lump sums with no restrictions. We do know that some of these priests—like Daniel Massie and Jerome Wagner—have secreted themselves into new “secular” jobs working with children and families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Landmark US Catholic child abuse trial wraps up

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
AFP

By Daniel Kelley (AFP)

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania — Jurors in a landmark Catholic Church sex abuse case heard closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranked US church official to be charged with covering up child molestation.

Those arguments capped more than 10 weeks of dramatic testimony in the case against Lynn, whose job it was to investigate reports of abuse in the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004. Jury deliberations were expected to start Friday.

Starkly conflicting portraits of the senior priest emerged at trial.

Lynn's lawyer described him as a low level functionary who struggled within a rigid church hierarchy to act against abuse by documenting it and compiling the voluminous records that prosecutors used to build their case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

In closing arguments, Lynn’s actions called brave, shameful

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian
INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS

As the official in charge of investigating clergy sex abuse for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Msgr. William J. Lynn bravely "put a spotlight" on the shame of the Catholic church, his lawyer said Thursday.

A prosecutor called Lynn’s actions something else: just shameful.

"He and everyone else who protected pedophile priests were murdering the souls of children," Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said.

The conflicting portraits emerged during a day of closing arguments in the landmark prosecution for Lynn and the Rev. James J. Brennan. The Common Pleas Court jury of six men and six women is scheduled to begin deliberations Friday.

The summations capped an 11-week child endangerment and abuse trial that included more than 60 witnesses — including Lynn and almost two dozen alleged abuse victims. Jurors also saw nearly 2,000 documents, most from secret church archives, that showed accused clerics being shuffled among parishes. Many were records Lynn drafted or reviewed during a 12-year tenure as Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua’s adviser on clergy sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

In Philly clergy trial, closing arguments offer clashing pictures

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

May 31, 2012
By Elizabeth Fiedler

District Attorney Seth Williams sat in a Philadelphia courtroom today to observe the prosecution's closing arguments in the landmark clergy sexual abuse case.

Williams was surrounded by the media, as well as advocates for survivors of abuse, and the defendants' supporters.

Monsignor William Lynn is accused of failing to prevent other priests from sexually abusing children.

Lynn is the first U.S. church official to be charged in a child sex abuse case for his administrative actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 PM

Cardinal Timothy Dolan allegedly paid suspected pedophile priests to leave ministry while head of Archdiocese of Milwaukee

UNITED STATES
Press TV (Iran)

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it had a policy to pay suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.

The acknowledgement was prompted by a document made public by abuse victims' advocates from the archdiocese's bankruptcy that references a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to "unassignable priests" who accepted a return to the laity. The policy was crafted under then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is now a cardinal and head of the archdiocese in New York.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The archdiocese disputes that characterization, saying the payments were in part to more quickly move those men out of the priesthood.

The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Wis. archdiocese no longer paying priests to leave

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Helena Independent Record

Associated Press | Posted: Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee and a former priest who received money to leave the ministry following allegations of sexual abuse say that payment and others were a form of charity meant to help men transition to a new life following the priesthood.

The archdiocese acknowledged paying suspected pedophile clergy after an abuse victims' group produced a court document on Wednesday that mentioned a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to "unassignable priests" who agree to leave the ministry. The document from the archdiocese's bankruptcy proceedings includes minutes from a 2003 meeting of its Finance Council, which included then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, now a cardinal and head of the New York archdiocese.

Council members discussed how the church should handle sexual abuse complaints, a possible budget deficit and how to cut costs. The $20,000 payments were among the options mentioned.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff to priests who molested children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

US priest-abuse case could reach jury Friday

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WSLS

By: MARYCLAIRE DALE | Associated Press
Published: May 31, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) After a 10-week trial, a jury will soon weigh the actions of a Roman Catholic church official charged with hiding suspected pedophile priests in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

Monsignor William Lynn faces up to 21 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and child endangerment.

Prosecutors say Lynn helped bury sordid tales of abuse in secret church archives from 1992 to 2004 during the time he served as secretary for clergy, when he could have quit or called police.

Defense lawyers insist Lynn alone tried to address the problem, but say he took orders from the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Deliberations could begin Friday after jury instructions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Paying Off Pervert Priests: Was Cardinal Timothy Dolan Just Being a Good Catholic?

UNITED STATES
The Village Voice

By Victoria BekiempisThu., May 31 2012

Earlier today, the Voice brought you news that Cardinal Timothy Dolan paid pervert priests up to 20 grand as "incentive" to get them to leave their posts when he ran the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

Here's the thing: Dolan, according to Catholic law, might not have been doing anything wrong in authorizing this payoff. In fact, the canon might characterize this decision as being "a good Christian."

This afternoon, we reached out to Msgr. Thomas J. Green, J.C.D., who teaches at Catholic University of America's School of Canon Law and is an expert in the field.

We wanted to get a better sense of "laicization" -- the technical term for when a priest or nun leaves the Church and becomes a layperson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Rabbis should allow justice system to deal with suspected sex abuse cases

UNITED STATES
Jweekly

by joel kamisher

There’s a story about a man who went to his rabbi in an Eastern European shtetl and falsely accused a business partner of wrongdoing. So the wise old rabbi told the man to take a pillowcase full of duck feathers and scatter them in the village square. The man did so, and returned to the rabbi for further instructions.

The rabbi then told the man to go and retrieve the feathers. The man protested that this would be impossible. The rabbi said: That shows how valuable a person’s reputation is, and how once it’s damaged, it can’t be repaired.

When I worked in local radio news in the Bay Area, I was reluctant to name accused rapists and child molesters — or any other suspect — as soon as they were arrested. I was frequently overruled and had to name names in newscasts despite my misgivings. What happened to “innocent until proven guilty?” ...

But rabbis in the ultra-Orthodox community should learn from the Catholic Church’s experience with pedophiles: The problem isn’t going to go away by trying to blame, shun or intimidate victims and their families or protecting the accusers from prosecution.

The rabbis should remember the ancient commandment “Justice, justice you shall seek.” They should not leave themselves open to charges of obstructing justice because they order members of their congregations to come to them before reporting incidents to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

President of Catholic Bishops Conference...

UNITED STATES
Daily Kos

President of Catholic Bishops Conference Cardinal Dolan bribed pedophile priests to go away quietly

by Kaili Joy Gray

Say this for Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: He sure is a multi-tasker.

When he's not threatening to cease "liv[ing] out the imperatives of our faith to serve, teach, heal, feed, and care for others" unless all American women are denied access to contraception, using his blog to smear children raped and molested by priests, coordinating massive lawsuits against the Obama administration because women's health care makes him sad, appearing on TV to false witness through his teeth, appreciating "the work done" by the hate group Catholic League, or organizing a national "fortnight" of civil disobedience, he's apparently busy praying that no one will find out about how, before he became the most powerful Catholic figure in America, he secretly bribed pedophile priests to leave the Church quietly.

Bad news for Dolan: His God has forsaken him yet again. The New York Times reports:

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee. [...]

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Headlines, new poll grim for Catholic leaders

UNITED STATES
USA Today

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

Ouch. Adding to a run of harsh headlines, there's now a New York Post story out of Albany citng a new poll that says New York voters think "the Catholic Church is too involved in politics."

The Quinnipiac University survey found 43% saying Catholic Church leaders are too involved, with only 11% saying they're not involved enough. Among Catholics, 33 percent say the church is too involved and only 17 percent not involved enough.

Voters also disapprove by 55-38 of Catholic lawsuits against President Obama's contraceptive insurance coverage mandates -- though Catholics narrowly approve, 51-45.

ORIGINAL POST:

Nuns under fire. Charges of payoffs to abusive priests to quit quietly. Vatican leaks.

These are rough news days for Catholic leaders, from the Pope to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of NY and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops..

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Cleveland Catholic Diocese suspends priest

CLEVELAND (OH)
WOIO

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -
It's a shocking twist in the Cleveland church closings and reopening.

A priest is now in trouble with the Catholic church.

When the Cleveland Catholic Diocese shut down St. Peter's Church in 2009, Father Robert Marrone worshipped with his congregation at a non-sanctioned location on Euclid Avenue. At the new location, Father Marrone carried out baptisms, communion services and worships.

Bishop Richard Lennon recently told Father Marrone to come back to the Catholic Diocese or he would be suspended. "The request was simply to reconcile. It was a breakaway church. They decided to leave the Catholic church and to form his own church" says Robert Tayek with Cleveland Catholic Diocese

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Defense: Monsignor not liable for sins of church

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Associated Press

By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic church official is being unfairly prosecuted for the sins of the church and the rogue conduct of predator-priests, a defense lawyer said Thursday as he asked jurors in a groundbreaking trial to acquit his client.

"You have witnessed evil in this courtroom. You have seen the dark side of the church. You've seen grown men come into this courtroom and weep because they were abused," said lawyer Thomas Bergstrom. "And now, the sins of all these fathers that he laid bare — that he laid bare — are now laid at his feet."

Prosecutors in Philadelphia are paving new legal ground as they pursue Monsignor William Lynn for his handling of abuse complaints when he served as secretary for clergy at the archdiocese from 1992 to 2004. Lynn, 61, is the first U.S. church official to be charged criminally for his administrative decisions regarding priests accused of sexual abuse. He faces up to 21 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy and felony child endangerment.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said Lynn stuck to "the game plan" by helping to keep pedophile priests in ministry and the public in the dark. Lynn could have called police or quit his job, but he cared more about keeping his job near the cardinal than protecting children, Blessington told the jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Cardinal Timothy Dolan Paid Pedophile Priests To Go Quietly

NEW YORK
Gothamist

Despite calling accusations that he paid off pedophile priests as the archbishop of Milwaukee "false, preposterous and unjust," the Times reports that Cardinal Timothy Dolan in fact made payments of as much as $20,000 to "a handful" of accused priests to encourage them to leave the priesthood sooner. “It was a way to provide an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less,” a diocese spokesman said, apparently not accounting for the incalculable costs of human misery associated with bribing pedophiles.

Experts in the Catholic Church’s response to sexual abuse say that payouts to dismissed priests are not uncommon. When a man becomes a priest, the church is expected to care for his needs for a lifetime.

Right, because the Church is here to serve the priests, not the people who pray to the church that their children can worship without being molested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Cardinal Dolan Quiet on $20K Payments to Pedophile Priests

NEW YORK
ABC News

By COLLEEN CURRY

May 31, 2012

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the archdiocese of New York is keeping quiet today after his old diocese, the archdiocese of Milwaukee, confirmed that under his leadership the church paid individual sums of $20,000 to priests accused of molesting children.

Dolan, who became a cardinal in February and serves as the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is recorded discussing the payments in the minutes of financial committee meetings in 2003, documents released as the Milwaukee archdioecese goes through bankruptcy court in Wisconsin.

The archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed to the Associated Press Wednesday that the church paid the priests money to voluntarily sign papers to leave the priesthood because it was cheaper and faster than removing them by other administrative routes, which would have included going through the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

What else is Cardinal Dolan hiding? SNAP asks

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on May 31, 2012

The disturbing new revelations about Cardinal Dolan raise a troubling question: What other secret deals and 'incentives' did and does he offer to pedophile priests?

Does he promise cash if they plead guilty in court and avoid long, embarrassing trials? Does he pledge to keep paying them if they'll settle civil lawsuits quickly and quietly, without disclosing how church officials hid their crimes? Does he offer money if foreign-born sex offender priests flee the US and return to their native lands?

This new revelation is disturbing on two levels: process and content.

First, it's disturbing because Dolan lied. And he's had years to 'come clean.' Six years ago, he emphatically denied paying predators to go away. At any point since then, he could have said "I'm sorry. I must confess. I deceived parishioners and the public when I denied paying child molesting clerics to leave." But he didn’t.

Second, it’s disturbing because it’s irresponsible for Catholic officials to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, transfer, and shield predators priests, then suddenly and quietly let them loose on an unsuspecting public with no warning or restrictions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Accused KC priest is put back in parish, SNAP responds

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on May 31, 2012

A long time KC diocesan insider, Msgr. Robert Murphy, is going back into parish ministry full time. It’s an irresponsible and hurtful move by Bishop Finn that shows he still cares more about his guilty priests than his innocent flock.

Murphy stands accused of sexually propositioning a young man considering the priesthood. And no one disputes the fact that for at least five months, Murphy refused to call police about hundreds of inappropriate and illegal sexual photos of young Catholic girls taken by Fr. Shawn Ratigan.

We see no evidence that Finn really tried to substantiate Brian Heydon’s abuse report years ago or recently. But it’s not too late to make a real effort. We call on Finn to use his bully pulpit, diocesan website, dozens of parish bulletins, hundreds of parish staff and thousands of church members to ask a simple but crucial question: “Have you ever seen, suffered or suspected sexual misconduct by Msgr. Murphy? If so, you have a civil and Christian duty to speak up now so that others might be protected.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

NY'ers think Catholic Church too involved in politics: poll

NEW YORK
New York Post

By ERIK KRISS, Bureau Chief

ALBANY -- Too much church and state.

New York voters say the Catholic Church is too involved in politics, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac University survey found 43 percent saying Catholic Church leaders are too involved, with only 11 percent saying they're not involved enough. Among Catholics, 33 percent say the church is too involved and only 17 percent not involved enough.

Voters also disapprove by 55-38 of Catholic lawsuits against President Obama's contraceptive insurance coverage mandates -- though Catholics narrowly approve, 51-45.

Democrats disapprove of Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan's leadership by 33-27 percent, though overall Dolan wins 38-25 approval, fueled by 59-11 percent thumbs up from Republicans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Head of Catholic Bishops Paid Pedophiles to Disappear

UNITED STATES
Truthout

Thursday, 31 May 2012

By Valerie Tarico, Truthout | News Analysis

Timothy Dolan, cardinal of New York and head of the Catholic Conference of Bishops, had his prime-time career launched by the pedophile priest scandal. Now, despite efforts to distance himself, his role in pedophile protection may come back to bite him. Wednesday, the Archdiocese of Minneapolis admitted that, during Dolan's tenure, pedophiles were paid to simply disappear.

In June of 2002, Dolan was appointed archbishop of Milwaukee after his predecessor, Rembert G. Weakland, admitted a confidential settlement of $450,000 to a man who accused Weakland of sexually assaulting him in 1979. In contrast to Weakland, Dolan was a known theological conservative with the trust of the Vatican and, despite questionable management of sexual abuse scandals in his previous position in Saint Louis, he was tasked with cleaning up the mess.

From the start, Dolan positioned himself as a victim's advocate: "... [i]t is impossible to exaggerate the gravity of the situation, and the suffering that victims feel, because I've spent the last four months being with them, crying with them, having them express their anger to me." His response to those tears and anger, however, foreshadowed events of this winter, when Dolan had consistently argued that the church is above the law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:11 PM

Top U.S. archbishop linked to abusive priest payout plan

UNITED STATES
CNN

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) -- One of the most powerful Catholic Church leaders in America approved payments of $20,000 to get abusive priests to leave the church, abuse victims and the archdiocese in question said Thursday.

Victims feel "considerable dismay" that leaders of the church in Milwaukee "have been apparently engaged in paying off those who betrayed the children of our archdiocese," they said in an open letter to the current head of the church in Milwaukee, Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

But the case could reverberate far beyond the borders of the Midwestern city.

Timothy Dolan, who was archbishop of Milwaukee at the time, is now archbishop of New York, head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and a cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Pope's butler to be questioned next week

VATICAN CITY
The Kansas City Star

By PETER MAYER
dpa

VATICAN CITY -- A Vatican magistrate will next week begin to question Pope Benedict XVI's butler who is in custody for allegedly stealing papal documents, the pontiff's spokesman said Thursday.

Paolo Gabriele's questioning "should take place not before next Monday or even Tuesday," Father Federico Lombardi said.

Gabriele, 46, a Vatican citizen, was arrested last Friday and has since been charged with theft, following the discovery of the documents in the flat he shares with his wife and three children.

It is believed that among the documents found in the butler's possession are several that in recent months were leaked to Italian newspapers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Cardinal Dolan, Brazen Liar?

UNITED STATES
The Daily Beast - The Dish

Andrew Sullivan

There are all sorts of arguments to be made about how the Catholic hierarchy handles priests accused of sexual abuse of minors. My view - call me crazy - is that people who sexually abuse minors should be reported directly to the police and fired. Canon law should not require paying for the retirement of child rapists, or taking care of them for the rest of their lives. Cardinal Dolan - the man leading the crusade against contraception in universal healthcare and the civil rights of gays and lesbians - disagrees. He provided payments to encourage priests to accept defrocking in order to accelerate the process under canon law. I'm with the victims on this:

“In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?”

But that's the morality of current canon law. Cardinal Dolan's not responsible for existing canon law. But the real issue here is not what Dolan did, but that it now seems clear he lied about it:

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee. Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Amid doubts of Cleveland bishop’s leadership, priest suspended

CLEVELAND (OH)
National Catholic Reporter

May. 31, 2012
By Tom Roberts

Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon this week suspended Fr. Robert Marrone for refusing to step down as pastor of the Community of St. Peter, a congregation that defied the bishop and remained together after its parish, of the same name, was closed in 2010.

Often referred to as a “breakaway” congregation, the community is made up of a majority of the members of St. Peter Parish, one of more than 50 closed by Lennon in a restructuring of the diocese. It also is one of 11 parishes that the Vatican ordered Lennon to reopen, a reversal of his ruling that resulted from legal proceedings at the Congregation for the Clergy.

Marrone said in a letter to his congregation that in a May 22 meeting with Lennon, the bishop expressed his wish that Marrone reconcile with the diocese and then read a statement containing a number of “whereas” clauses ending with the ultimatum that he remove himself from the community within seven days or face suspension from ministry.

In a May 30 interview with NCR, Marrone said he asked Lennon for a copy of the document. The bishop refused, telling him, according to Marrone, “that he didn’t want to see it on the front page of the paper” the following day.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Pedophiles Paid to Leave Quietly

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

May 31, 2012, 1:13 pm

Posted by Lisa Fullam

Laurie Goldstein at the New York Times reported yesterday on then-Archbishop of Milwaukee Timothy Dolan approving payments of up to $20,000 to sex-abuser priests as an incentive for them to accept laicization.

When asked about such payments at the time, Dolan flatly denied the charge.

Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”

Ahem. Well, in the bankruptcy proceedings, documents show that multiple such payments were made. (Andrew Sullivan’s report is headed: “Cardinal Dolan, Brazen Liar?” But dissembling hierarchs is not my topic here.)

Now it is true that priests don’t draw much of a salary, though it should also be noted that, unlike their lay colleagues in ministry, they also get their education free, housing free, and receive benefits, including retirement. They do not take a vow of poverty (unlike religious,) so can become wealthy if they have a side gig, though most do not. I would be sympathetic to leaving retirement benefits in place, since it’s very hard to establish oneself mid-life (or later,) but this is a substantial cash bonus just for leaving.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Ex-priest: Archdiocese payment helped in new life

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Fox News

Published May 31, 2012

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE – An ex-priest who received $20,000 from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to leave the ministry after he was accused of sexual abuse says he viewed the payment as charity to help him readjust to a new way of life.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, however, considers that payment and others made to other suspected pedophile priests a payoff or bonus. Details of the payments came to light in a bankruptcy document filed by the archdiocese.

Jerome Wagner said Thursday he used the money to go mortuary school after leaving his parish in Fond du Lac in 2002. The archdiocese has acknowledged Wagner was accused of sexual abuse of a minor, but he was not charged criminally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Down the Rabbit Hole: NY Times Now Blasts Cardinal Dolan and Church for Actually Getting Rid of Abusive Priests

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

Dave Pierre

One frequent demand from Catholic Church abuse victims is that abusive clerics be laicized or removed from the priesthood as expeditiously and quickly as possible.

So if the Archdiocese of Milwaukee discovered a fast and economical way to make that happen, wouldn't that be a good thing for both victims and the Church? Not according to the New York Times' Laurie Goodstein.

In her latest Catholic Church-obsessed piece, Goodstein takes issue with the fact that Cardinal Timothy Dolan, when he was the Archbishop of Milwaukee a while back, approved a number of $20,000 settlements to rid the Church of abusive priests in a more time-efficient and expeditious manner – without long, drawn-out canonical or civil proceedings.

The agenda: Attack the Church

Goodstein characterizes these settlements as "payoffs to sexually abusive priests" in an attempt to somehow besmirch Cardinal Dolan. In fact, these were settlement payments designed to save the Church and everyone involved the legal expenses and distraction of engaging in the protracted proceedings necessary to rid the Church of abusive priests.

This isn't the first time that Goodstein, the Times' purported national religion reporter, has shilled for contingency lawyers and loud professional victims' groups, who wish to plant hit pieces on the Catholic Church in America's declining newspaper of record.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

Cardinal Timothy Dolan Authorized Payments to Sexually Abusive Priests

NEW YORK
New York Magazine

By Joe Coscarelli

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan approved payments of up to $20,000 for priests accused of sexual abuse to go away quietly while he was the archbishop of Milwaukee, the New York Times reports, despite calling past accusations about payoffs "false, preposterous and unjust." Paperwork revealed during the Wisconsin church's bankruptcy filing confirms the payments, which a spokesperson now calls "an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less." In response to the news, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests asks in a letter, "In what other occupation, especially one working with families and operating schools and youth programs, is an employee given a cash bonus for raping and sexually assaulting children?"

Dolan served as Archbishop in Milwaukee from 2002 until 2009, when he took the same post in New York, "a city closer to Sodom than to Eden," as New York described it then. Earlier this year, he was made a cardinal amid an ongoing battle with Obama over contraception.

The Milwaukee archdiocese insists the payments under Dolan were to help the "unassignable priests," a.k.a. sexual abusers, transition out of church life without losing health care. "It's not new news," a spokesperson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

Timothy Dolan and the System of Eternal Rewards

UNITED STATES
Esquire - The Politics Blog

By Charles P. Pierce

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the leading spokescritter for the Clan of The Red Beanie in its upcoming campaign to protect its delicate consciences against the onslaught of the unauthorized use of ladyparts, was previously posted to Milwaukee, where the archdiocese there is currently going through bankruptcy proceedings due to the amount of money it has had to pay out as a result of the Roman Catholic hierarchy's failed career as an international conspiracy to obstruct justice. The interesting thing about bankruptcy proceedings is that all kinds of documents get to be made public.

It seems that the Milwaukee archdiocese made a series of under-the-prie-dieu payments to criminal priests in order to get them to leave the church quietly. It also seems that Dolan presided over this program of hush money. It also seems that, yes, Timothy Dolan, with his very evolved conscience and his predilection to lecture presidents on the sanctity of that evolved conscience, lied his pectoral cross off about the whole business....

Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a "payoff" to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was "false, preposterous and unjust."

Also, apparently, true.

Of course, Dolan was obviously following the advice in the Gospels to make sure that the Mystical Body Of Christ is on the hook for a criminal's annual checkup....

The first known payment in Milwaukee was to Franklyn Becker, a former priest with many victims. Cardinal Dolan said in response to a reporter's question at the time that the payment was "an act of charity," so that Mr. Becker could pay for health insurance. According to church documents, Mr. Becker was accused of abusing at least 10 minors, and given a diagnosis of pedophilia in 1983. The church paid more than $16 million to settle lawsuits involving him and one other priest. ...

We're going to hear more than we need to hear from this Dolan character between now and the election. Any story about him that does not contain the phrase "...who once supervised a program to use the money collected from parishioners to pay accused child molesters to leave the priesthood..." is unworthy of being read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Dolan Authorized Payment to Suspected Pedophile Priests in Wisc.

UNITED STATES
NBC New York

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, when it was under the direction of then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, had a policy to pay suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry, the archdiocese confirmed Wednesday.

The acknowledgement was prompted by a document made public by abuse victims' advocates from the archdiocese's bankruptcy that references a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to "unassignable priests" who accepted a return to the laity. The policy was crafted under then-Archbishop Dolan, who is now a cardinal and head of the archdiocese in New York.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The archdiocese disputes that characterization, saying the payments were in part to more quickly move those men out of the priesthood.

The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Meeting minutes: Dolan’s Milwaukee archdiocese paid accused priests to leave

MILWAUKEE (WI)
National Catholic Reporter

May. 31, 2012
By Marie Rohde

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee archdiocese has acknowledged it paid sexually abusive priests $20,000 to leave the priesthood without taking the laicization fight to the Vatican.

A reference to the payout policy was made in the minutes of a 2003 meeting of the archdiocesan finance council, headed by then Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan, now cardinal archbishop of New York and head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The minutes, which were found in proceedings for the archdiocese’s 2011 bankruptcy filing, were made public Wednesday by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest director, noted the same document reported that the archdiocese had created a pastoral mediation program that would pay victims of sexual abuse by priests up to $30,000 to “make reparations for lost jobs, education, etc. due to the depression and other psychological effects of abuse,” the minutes state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Cardinal Timothy Dolan's Pervert Priest Payoff: What Does This Mean for U.S. Catholics?

UNITED STATES
The Village Voice

[Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

By Victoria Bekiempis
Thu., May 31 2012

When Cardinal Timothy Dolan ran the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, he said OK to paying pervert priests up to 20 grand as "incentive" to get them to leave their posts.

A report in the New York Times, using info from that Archdiocese's recent bankruptcy filings, notes that Dolan gave the greenlight for payments: "to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood."

At that time, he vehemently rebuffed any and all allegations of doing anything like that, calling such claims: "false, preposterous and unjust." Alas, a spokesman for Milwaukee told the newspaper that payments did take place so priests wouldn't contest defrocking, a process known as "laicization."

Now, there seem to be a couple of problems involving the policies of America's top Roman Catholic cleric.

To be perfectly clear, we reached out to Dolan to see what he had to say, but his office referred us to Milwaukee, even though we explained that we wanted to talk to him or someone who could speak directly on his behalf. So he has a chance to say his spiel and still can reach out to us if he wants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:37 PM

US Catholic Church paid sexually abusive priests to leave

UNITED STATES
The Jerusalem Post

By REUTERS

05/31/2012

NEW YORK - New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan authorized $20,000 payments to a handful of sexually abusive priests so they would immediately leave the Milwaukee archdiocese when Dolan was archbishop there nearly a decade ago, a church spokeswoman said on Thursday.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) first announced the payments on Wednesday upon discovering minutes of a March 2003 meeting of the Milwaukee archdiocese finance council meeting. SNAP is demanding full disclosure of all such payments.

Church officials confirmed the payments as approved in the minutes but archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said she had yet to determine how many priests received them, estimating the number at "a handful, a couple."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

A Small Legal Adjustment

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Catholic Sensibility

Bishop Finn appoints away some episcopal authority. Or does he? In the old days (of JPII) it was Rome who appointed co-adjutors to ride to the rescue. In the 21st century, I guess this is left to western bishops to work out their own messes.

David Gibson has the piece up at both RNS and dotCommonweal.

Jack Smith, diocesan newspaper editor and once-active blogger, explains:

Fr. Rush’s sole responsibility is to make decisions with regard to resolving a misdemeanor charge against the diocese in Jackson County. In all but this matter, Bishop Finn continues in all of his duties.

There is a perceived conflict that this helps resolve. Bishop Finn and the diocese each have been charged with identical misdemeanors in Jackson County. It is possible that the defense or resolution of one charge could be in conflict with the defense or resolution of the other charge. For this reason a Vicar has been appointed with authority to independently represent diocesan interests with regard to the charge against the diocese.


So it seems less a matter of canon law and more one of secular legality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Defense argues ...

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Washington Post

Defense argues in landmark Philly priest trial that monsignor not liable for church’s sins

By Associated Press,

PHILADELPHIA — Jurors are hearing closing arguments in a landmark priest-abuse case in Philadelphia.

Monsignor William Lynn is on trial for allegedly endangering children as secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004.

Prosecutors say pedophile Roman Catholic priests were shuffled from parish to parish.

In court on Thursday, Lynn’s attorney said the weekslong trial has shown the jury the dark side of the church and the evil acts committed by rogue priests.

But lawyer Thomas Bergstrom says his client should not be held responsible for sins of the church. He says Lynn alone tried to document the abuse and have the cardinal address it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Catholic Cardinal Authorized $20K To Pay Off Pedophile Priests...

UNITED STATES
Think Progress

Catholic Cardinal Authorized $20K To Pay Off Pedophile Priests, Then Railed Against ‘Immorality’ Of Gay Marriage

[Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

By Igor Volsky on May 31, 2012

Cardinal Timothy Dolan has led the charge against same-sex marriage, describing gay and lesbian unions as “unjust,” “immoral,” and unnatural. “This is a very violation of what we consider natural law that’s embedded in every man and woman and we’re really worried as Americans that it’s going to be detrimental to the common good,” Dolan said in a radio interview in June, as New York prepared to legalize marriage equality. “[W]e still worry about the detrimental effect upon society, upon culture, and certainly upon our individual churches.”

But church documents showing that Dolan paid off priests who had been accused of sexually abusing minors suggest that the prominent Catholic leader was willing to overlook these very same religious convictions to help colleagues accused of egregious wrong doing. The documents, obtained by the New York Times, also show that Dolan lied to reporters when he initially dismissed news of the payments as “false, preposterous and unjust”:

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee. [...]

But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Top U.S. archbishop linked to abusive priest payout plan

UNITED STATES
Fox 6

(CNN) — One of the most powerful Catholic Church leaders in America approved payments of $20,000 to get abusive priests to leave the church, abuse victims and the archdiocese in question said Thursday.

Victims feel “considerable dismay” that leaders of the church in Milwaukee “have been apparently engaged in paying off those who betrayed the children of our archdiocese,” they said in an open letter to the current head of the church in Milwaukee, Archbishop Jerome Listecki.

But the case could reverberate far beyond the borders of the Midwestern city.

Timothy Dolan, who was archbishop of Milwaukee at the time, is now archbishop of New York, head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and a cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Closing arguments under way in landmark Philadelphia priest sex abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A defense lawyer on Thursday urged jurors to acquit Msgr. William J. Lynn, arguing he is being unfairly held to pay for the sins of the Catholic church covering up child-sex abuse by priests.

"You have witnessed evil in this courtroom. You have seen the dark side of the church and you have seen grown men come into this courtroom and weep because they were abused," lawyer Thomas Bergstrom told the jury during the first closing statement of the landmark trial. "If we cannot feel their pain, then we are broken."

Lynn also felt the pain, Bergstrom said, but he did not cause it nor should he be held to pay for it. The lawyer accused prosecutors of mounting a flawed and misguided case against Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Bergstrom said Lynn was the one church official who tried hard to identify and remove sexually abusive priests, and he cited as proof a pillar of the prosecution: the hundreds of meticulous and previously secret church records, many drafted or reviewed by Lynn, that cataloged complaints and actions against abusive priests across the Philadelphia region.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Indiana – Katholische Kirche benutzt Kinder für Homo-Hetze

INDIANA
Pride-Out News

Posted on 31. Mai 2012

Als wäre der sexuelle Missbrauch von Kindern in der Kirche nicht schon genug Perversion, was die Kirche sich geleistet hat, so lernen kleine Kinder in der Kirche in Greensburg, wie man Hetze im großen Stil betreibt.

Pastor Jeff Sangl, der grinsend hinter dem Kleinkind steht, rühmt sich mit der missbräuchlichen Verwendung des Unmündigen.

Auf die Zeile: “Ain’t no homos gonna make it to Heaven” bezugnehmend auf die Bibelstelle Römer 1,26-27, beginnen die Kirchenbesucher frenetisch zu applaudieren und kreischen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:20 AM

Emsland: Verfahren gegen früheren Pfarrer

DEUTSCHLAND
NWZ

Osnabrück. Der Vatikan hat das Kirchengericht des Bistums Münster damit beauftragt, ein kirchenrechtliches Strafverfahren gegen den früheren Pfarrer von Spelle im Kreis Emsland aufzunehmen. Der inzwischen 51-jährige Priester war im März 2010 vom Osnabrücker Bischof Franz-Josef Bode wegen des Vorwurfs eines Sexualdelikts von seinen Aufgaben entpflichtet worden, teilte das Bistum Osnabrück am Mittwoch mit.

Der Fall sei an die Staatsanwaltschaft Osnabrück weitergeleitet worden. Das Landgericht Osnabrück hatte das Strafverfahren wegen Vergewaltigung im September vergangenen Jahres jedoch eingestellt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

Journey from trusted servant to accused Judas for Pope's butler

VATICAN CITY
DNA (India)

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012
Agency: Reuters

Just after dawn on Wednesday, May 23, Paolo Gabriele said goodbye to his wife, passed by the bedrooms of his three children and left to start another day in the service of the man Roman Catholics believe is the vicar of Christ on Earth.

By the end of the day, Pope Benedict's butler would be branded a traitor and some, including an Italian cardinal, would compare him to the most famous betrayer in history - Judas Iscariot, the man who turned Jesus over to the Romans.

Dark haired and handsome, Gabriele, 46, left his simple home on the third floor of a 1930s Vatican apartment block named after the 7th century monk Saint Egidio. With the St Ann's Gate entrance, guarded by Swiss Guard in blue berets, to his back, he passed the Holy See's central post office on Via Del Belvedere, turned left to climb a stone stairway named after Pope Pius X, and walked up a flight of covered steps to enter the small Renaissance-era Courtyard of Sixtus V.

Here he used a key held by fewer than 10 people to enter an elevator that leads directly to the pope's private apartment on the third and top floor of the Apostolic Palace in the world's smallest state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 AM

In Vatican intrigue, all eyes turn to pope's butler

VATICAN CITY
NorthJersey.com

ALESSANDRO SPECIALE

VATICAN CITY (RNS) When Pope Benedict XVI circled St. Peter's Square last Wednesday (May 23) in his popemobile during his weekly general audience, Paolo Gabriele, his "assistente di camera," or butler, was sitting right beside him, as he had been doing for the last six years.

But the shadows of suspicion were already hanging heavily over Gabriele, and within hours, he would be arrested on charges of being "illicitly in possession" of some of the pope's private documents.

Now, people are asking how it could have happened and, more basically, who is Paolo Gabriele?

According to a reconstruction by Italy's daily La Repubblica, Gabriele had been approached the day before his arrest by Benedict's personal secretary, Monsignor Georg Ganswein.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

'People's Petition' Calls for Resignation of Cardinal

IRELAND
Donegal Now

[Care2 Petitionsite]

A 'People's Petition' launched in Donegal, calling for the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady, will be presented this week to several organisations including Amnesty International Ireland, One in Four, a charity group granting support to those people who suffered sexual abuse, as well as to appropriate Catholic Church offices.

The petition calls for the Cardinal, who as Primate of All Ireland will preside over the Congress, to ‘do the right thing’ and resign over his alleged failure to report to the relevant authorities multiple cases of child sexual abuse while he was a canon lawyer and a bishopric/diocesan assistant some years ago.

Martin Gallagher from the Falcarragh area of west Donegal - one of scores of children who suffered clerical abuse by pedophile priest, Eugene Greene – and who signed the petition earlier this week, said he was encouraged by the petition and the support he has received from people in Donegal and elsewhere in Ireland.

Mr Gallagher said, “This is an issue that must be highlighted over and over again until something substantial is done about it. So many people suffered - and continue to suffer as a result of this terrible sexual abuse – and until the Catholic Church not only owns up to what was done, but makes comprehensive changes to the system to prevent it ever happening again, then such petitions as these are extremely important. Cardinal Brady should not lead this Congress.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Wis archdiocese paid priests to leave ministry

MILWAUKEEE (WI)
CBS News

MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it had a policy to pay suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.

The acknowledgement was prompted by a document made public by abuse victims' advocates from the archdiocese's bankruptcy that references a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to "unassignable priests" who accepted a return to the laity. The policy was crafted under then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is now a cardinal and head of the archdiocese in New York.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The archdiocese disputes that characterization, saying the payments were in part to more quickly move those men out of the priesthood.

The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

"You don't give a bonus to a man who rapes children," the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted SNAP Midwest director Peter Isely as saying Wednesday outside the federal courthouse in Milwaukee. "If they paid them anything it should have been for therapy and counseling."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Archbishop Timothy Dolan Offered $20,000 ...

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Business Insider

Archbishop Timothy Dolan Offered $20,000 To Priests Suspected Of Child Abuse To Make Them Leave The Priesthood

Michael Brendan Dougherty

Back when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee, Timothy Dolan offered priests suspected of misconduct with children payments of $20,000 to induce them to leave the priesthood, according to the New York Times.

The news came out of bankruptcy filings, and is being publicized by a group representing the interests of victims of child abuse. From the report:

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.

“It was a way to provide an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less,” said Jerry Topczewski, the spokesman for the archdiocese. “Their cooperation made the process a lot more expeditious.”


This is brutal news for Dolan, who was previously praised very highly for his handling of abuse cases in Milwaukee after the reign of the notorious Bishop Weakland, who stole from church coffers to pay for the lifestyle of his male lover.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:39 AM

HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE DIRECTOR: THIS IS THE MOMENT FOR FULL SOLIDARITY WITH THE POPE

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 31 May 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, held a meeting with journalist to answer questions on the publication of reserved Vatican documents, an act for which the Pope's personal assistant has been arrested.

Regarding the questions on the pope's possible resignation, a hypothesis maintained by various media outlets, Fr. Lombardi affirmed that those were baseless creations of some journalists, which have no foundation in reality. The Curia has expressed its solidarity with the pontiff and continues to work in full communion with the Successor of Peter: "This is precisely the moment in which to demonstrate esteem and appreciation for the Holy Father and the service he carries out; to show full solidarity with him and thus, to demonstrate communion, unity, and coherence with how this situation is dealt with".

Fr. Lombardi emphasized that it is important that communication regarding this sorrowful event for the Pope and the Church be inspired by rigorous criteria for the truth: "It seems to me", he said, "that there is a line of desire for truth and clarity, a desire for transparency that, although it will take time, continues forward. I thus honestly believe that we are trying to handle this new situation: We are seeking the truth, and trying to objectively understand what may have happened. First, however, it is necessary to be sure to have understood it, in respect for persons and the truth".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

You can’t help the Pope by committing crimes, says German cardinal

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The German cardinal Brandmüller: "The excuse given by the suspected moles is not acceptable”

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

“The Pope is sad but calm. He knows the Church needs to cross this stormy sea and that he must share the experience of Jesus…” 83 year old Walter Brandmüller, a cardinal since November 2010 and President of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, has known Ratzinger from when they were both university professors in Bavaria and has a long experience of working in the Roman Curia.

You are German and have known the Pope for a long time. How do you think he feels? Why does he seem so calm?

Benedict XVI is obviously saddened, but is certainly calm because he totally trusts in the help of the Almighty. He is aware that the Church must cross the tempestuous sea of this world; it must face its problems. Difficulties are not ideal, but I think they are normal occurrences in life.”

In the book-length interview with Peter Seewald, “Light of the World” the Pope said that one must expect attacks and be ready to resist them.

“The Gospel is a sign of contradiction and the contradiction of the world almost seals the authenticity of the message. The destiny of the disciple of Jesus is that of sharing his experience of suffering. I believe that this certainty of faith is at the root of Benedict XVI’s tranquillity.”

As a historian of the Church, how do you see current events? Are there similar instances from the past that could be compared with the present?

“Well, in the middle ages, a French king, Philip the Handsome reached the point of falsifying papal bulls to discredit Boniface VIII. And one must not forget that at the end of the nineteenth century, during the first Vatican Council, during the course of the discussion on papal infallibility there were leaks of documents which were used as the basis for articles to discredit the Council. The articles were published in Germany and signed with the pseudonym “Quirino’s letters”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Vatican spokesman urges media to present accurate and balanced information

Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi has denounced the fact that too many articles are not based on fact, reiterating that respect for others comes above everything else

Vatican Insider staff
Rome

“Naturally, everyone is seeking an explanation to what is going on. The response to this question is that given by the Pope today. Information is important but it must be communicated in an accurate and balanced way,” the Vatican spokesman said.

“I - Fr. Lombardi stressed – only speak when an answer has been given and I never mention any names, Gabriele being an exception because he was found to be in possession of material he was not supposed to have and this is an objective fact.” In these past few days, the spokesman said in an ironic tone, “some people are losing their marbles, in that they are writing things that do not seem to lack any factual basis, regarding the individuals questioned for example.” In relation to this, Fr. Lombardi stressed the importance of respect for others. “It does not mean that just because someone is questioned that person was definitely involved. Names should not be divulged before their involvement is proven.” “I have said nothing and honestly know nothing” about potential schemes and the masterminds behind them,” he said. “I have been hearing about them for months, like everyone else.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

As Holy See hunts for evidence, three Italians are said to be involved

Investigations into emails and phone calls and collaboration with public prosecutors continues. Meanwhile, the Secret Services have received a request for help

Giacomo Galeazzi & Francesco Grignetti
Vatican City

Paolo Gabriele is still the only person being investigated for the leak of documents from the papal apartments, but suspicions seem to lead to three more lay officials working in the Vatican, who reside in Italy. “The Vatican magistrates will ask for the help of the Italian justice if their inquiry found Italian citizens to be involved,” the Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi stated. “These are tragic days,” the head of the Vatican Gendarmerie, Domenico Giani added.

Giani used to work for the Sisde, the Italian secret services and so far the Holy See has appealed twice to the Italian intelligence for support. First of all a month ago when the mole started leaking confidential papers to the mass media and the Vatican formally asked the Italian government for help. In that instance the secret services were authorized to collaborate with the Gendarmerie. The culprits however were not found.

The second time was when Inspector General Giani apparently called for support from the Italians again, from both police and intelligence, to intercept phone calls and emails. But the help could not be given without authorization from political authorities. The Gendarmerie continued its investigations and now we are at a turning point. As previously mentioned, at the top of the list of suspects there are three lay people working in the Vatican, who are however Italian citizens, residing in Rome. According to the Vatican inspectors their involvement is evident. Perhaps inspectors are simply waiting for them to make a wrong move. So far, the Italian magistrates were not asked to send any rogatory letters, but if necessary, it should be fairly easy for the Vatican to ask for assistance from the Judiciary system and confiscate their private computers. Moreover, emails are kept up to five years on internet servers. It should be simple, come the right time, to verify if one of them illegally handled confidential documents.

Cleveland priest suspended

CLEVELAND (OH)
WTAM

(Cleveland) – Father Robert Marrone has been suspended by the the Cleveland Catholic Diocese for disobeying orders by Bishop Richard Lennon to remove himself from a break-away congregation of St. Peter's Church.

St. Peter's in downtown Cleveland was one of more than 50 churches closed by Lennon in the past three years.

Many members of St. Peter’s set up their own worship space in a commercial building nearly two years ago and have been celebrating Mass with Father Marrone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

US cardinal paid sexually abusive priests $20,000 to quit

UNITED STATES
Press TV (Iran)

An American Catholic cardinal in New York has authorized payments of up to $20,000 as an incentive to priests that were sexually abusive for agreeing to dismissal from priesthood.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who is president of the national bishops’ conference and rapidly rising in stature as the nation’s most high-profile Roman Catholic cleric, first rejected the charge at the time, when he was archbishop of the City of Milwaukee, but a new document reveals that he indeed did make the payments, The New York Times reports Thursday.

Questioned at the time about reports that one of the particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust,” according to the report.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Cardinal Timothy Dolan took part in pedophile priest payoff to leave church

MILWAUKEE (WI)
IrishCentral

By
CATHY HAYES,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cardinal Timoty Dolan authorized payments to pedophile priests of up to $20,000 to get them to leave the priesthood when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee new documents have revealed.

Dolan had once described that allegation as “false,preposterous and unjust” but the archdiocese has now admitted that it occurred.

Milwaukee Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said in an email, “In 2002, the Church affirmed that priest offenders should no longer be functioning as priests in any capacity and having someone seek laicization voluntarily is faster and less expensive and it made sense to try and move these men out of the priesthood as quickly as possible."

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) yesterday stated New York’s Cardinal Dolan was heavily involved in the plan to “pay off” known pedophile priests in a bid to have them leave the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Cleveland priest gets suspension for serving breakaway congregation, refusing bishop's order

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Republic

ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: May 31, 2012

CLEVELAND — A priest who's refusing to stop ministering to a breakaway congregation says he's been suspended for disobeying the order from the Roman Catholic bishop in Cleveland.

Bishop Richard Lennon previously threatened to punish the Rev. Robert Marrone for celebrating Mass for former parishioners of St. Peter Church. They moved to a commercial building after their church was closed in 2010 amid downsizing by the diocese.

The Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/JvfQIa ) reports Marrone met with Lennon last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Outdated Vatican is an institution ripping itself apart

VATICAN CITY
Belfast Telegraph

By Michael Day
Thursday, 31 May 2012

The Vatican has long been said by those who know it to be a nest of vipers. But, recently, the poison has been laid bare for everyone to see as leak after an embarrassing leak has revealed an institution at war with itself.

Already this year we've read about documents warning of a death threat against the Pope, widespread nepotism and corruption, exiled whistleblowers, gay smear campaigns and embarrassing revelations about the Vatican's tax affairs. ...

As the author of a new book on the Vatican, Gianluigi Nuzzi, says: "During the papacy of John Paul II, paedophilia was not pursued like it has been today. This pope has removed 50 priests."

Another Vatican watcher, Robert Mickens of The Tablet, has a simpler take the Holy See's woes: "It's arrogance. The people in charge still think the Vatican is above ordinary laws."

Observers also point to the Vatican's decision to censure nuns in the US for daring to "disagree with or challenge positions taken by the bishops" on key social issues.

"All these things are symptoms of a bigger problem. The structure of the Vatican - which is an absolute monarchy - is no longer suitable for the modern world," says Mickens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

The Butler Did It

UNITED STATES
PowerTrip

By Mark V. Serrano·May 30, 2012

Cronyism, corruption and power struggles. Where else would you find such things, along with palace intrigue and a butler leaking sensitive information, but the Vatican?

A book just published in Italy references private letters, internal memos, and a treasure trove of secret information that includes pleas to the Pope to deal with a money-laundering scandal.

Such scandals seem to abound in the church hierarchy. Ironically, we see countless examples of Catholic bishops and cardinals let off the hook for hiding serial sex offenders in the church, but if you steal the church’s money or reveal secrets from inside the Pope’s own Vatican apartment, it’s time to call in the hounds!

The Pope’s butler has been arrested as the Julian Assange of the Vatican, and will likely rot in an Italian jail for many years. Supposedly, he is the one who leaked all the juicy data to the author of the book, which is flying off the shelves in Italy.

This sort of tale is not unusual, of course. Stories have leaked recently about the fate of a teenaged girl with Vatican City citizenship who was kidnapped and held for ransom in 1983 in lieu of the release of the man who attempted to assassinate John Paul II (see: What is the Vatican’s sinister secret behind teenager Emanuela Orlandi’s 1983 disappearance?).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Announcement designed to `highlight hypocrisy' over paedophiles

AUSTRALIA
Penrith Press

31 May 12 @ 02:09pm by Former Glenmore Park parish priest Kevin Lee

I HAVE been very moved by the overwhelming number of positive text and Facebook messages that I have received in response to my recent announcement of my marriage last year to the beautiful Josefina.

I know it must have come as a complete shock to everyone but it was deliberately orchestrated that way to draw attention to an issue that has fermented in the Catholic Church for decades, that of abuse by teachers, priests, brothers and even nuns in the church, and that many priests are living duplicity by having homosexual relationships.

In my role as representative of the Catholic Church in nine parishes throughout the Diocese of Parramatta I have observed one constant: people keep telling me that they don’t go to church because either they or someone in their family were abused.

All the while I wanted to believe abuses were rare and infrequent but in my experience they were so commonly talked about.

The church will contend that the percentage is quite small but in my mind it should not be any. Being around kids who enjoy my company was always uncomfortable because of general suspicions about priests who play with kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Clergy need to become 'mandatory reporters'

UNITED STATES
Daily Star

Organized religions are responsible for many wonderful things, too numerous to mention here.

But they also have a responsibility to safeguard against terrible things that are done in their name.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in two current controversies _ one involving the Catholic archdiocese in Philadelphia, and the other an ultra-Orthodox Jewish congregation in Brooklyn.

Jurors are scheduled to hear closing arguments today in the child-endangerment trial of Monsignor William Lynn involving his handling of several priest-abuse complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Gambling video leads to suspension of Hialeah priest

FLORIDA
Sun-Sentinel

By Enrique Flor
The Miami Herald

The priest of the Rincón de San Lázaro church in Hialeah was suspended of his duties Wednesday after a video of him gambling at slot machines in three Miami-Dade casinos emerged.

Rev. Orlando Molina has been suspended indefinitely until an internal investigation is completed, said Michel Joseph Pugin, bishop of the U.S. Catholic Church, founded in 1949 under Catholic precepts but not under the Vatican’s jurisdiction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Catholic Abuse Case Going To Jury In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KUHF

May 31, 2012

by: Barbara Bradley Hagerty

In a Philadelphia courtroom Thursday, jurors will hear closing arguments in a historic case involving the Catholic sex abuse scandal. William Lynn, a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the first high-level church official to be tried for his involvement in covering up child abuse.

In a Philadelphia courtroom, jurors are hearing closing arguments in a historic case involving the Catholic sex abuse scandal. William Lynn, a monsignor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is the first high-level church official to be tried for his involvement in covering up child abuse, specifically, conspiracy and children endangerment.

Journalist Ralph Cipriano has listened through every day of testimony, posting the events for the blog Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial. For most of the 10-week trial, he says, prosecutors put on a powerful case that Lynn, who was in charge of investigating sex abuse claims from 1992 to 2004, protected the priests and the church - not the children.

"A month ago, there was a sense the prosecution was way ahead," he says, "that the evidence was so stacked against the Monsignor, that all the prosecution had to do is play it safe."

Then Lynn went on the stand and argued that he did everything within his power to protect children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 AM

Ex-Cap-Pelé man says priest sexually abused him

CANADA
CBC News

A man who was abused by a Cap-Pelé priest is speaking out after decades of silence.

Normand Brun now lives in Vancouver, far from his Cap-Pelé home where he suffered abuse at the hands of Father Camille Léger.

The priest died in 1990 and was never convicted of any crimes.

But Léger's history came to light earlier this year when the Cap-Pelé council was preparing to ask citizens in a referendum whether the former priest's name should remain on the village hockey arena.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Hynes Is Late To Push for Mandate Law

NEW YORK
Forward

By Paul Berger

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says he is pushing for passage of a new state law to force rabbis to report child sex allegations to authorities.

But lawmakers say Hynes has joined the legislative fray late in the state capital of Albany, and time is running out for any measure to pass this year.

“If [Hynes] wants to get something done before the session closes . . . [he’s] wasting precious moments,” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester). “Going through bureaucracy can take time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Make protection Orthodox: child abuse can’t continue

NEW YORK
New York Post

The Issue: How DA Hynes should deal with cases of child-sex abuse in Brooklyn’s Orthodox communities.

***
The ultra-Orthodox rabbis who have been flouting the law should never be allowed to oversee street-surveillance programs in Brooklyn (“Faltering First Steps,” Editorial, May 26).

Only the NYPD should monitor crime.

Sue Daglian
Manhattan

***
For those who serve Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, it comes as no surprise that the city and Brooklyn DA Charles “Joe” Hynes have approached the subject of child abuse with pathetic trepidation.

We see child neglect on a massive scale every day. Local police are told by their superiors not to issue tickets, and firefighters are told not to issue summonses when firetrap schools present a death threat to the youngest residents.

How ironic that these children are barely taught a thing about the country that provides them the freedoms they enjoy. That abuse gets swept under the rug is just par for the course.

Michael Watkins
Brooklyn

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Outing Orthodox pervs imperils victims: Hynes

NEW YORK
New York Post

By JOSE MARTINEZ

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes (left) blamed witness intimidation in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community — which he compared to the kind of threats carried out by the Mafia — for his unwillingness to name accused sexual predators.

Lashing out against those who have accused him of kowtowing to political pressure by refusing to identify the nearly 100 Orthodox Jews charged with sex crimes in Brooklyn over the last three years, Hynes said, “I haven’t seen this kind of intimidation in organized-crime cases or police-corruption cases.”

Identifying the accused, Hynes said, would put their accusers in jeopardy of being outed by segments of the Orthodox community.

“No one gives a damn about victims,” he fumed. “All they care about is protecting the abusers.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Brooklyn DA: Intimidation in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Sex Abuse Cases Worse Than Mob Cases


NEW YORK
WNYC

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

By Ailsa Chang

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes continued to defend his office's record on sex abuse cases in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community at an unrelated press conference Wednesday. He said the victim intimidation in that community is worse than what he's seen in organized crime and police corruption cases over his nearly two-decade career.

"I haven't seen this kind of intimidation in organized crime cases or police corruption, and the reason for that is in organized crime cases, I can get witness protection," Hynes Explained. "In police intimidation cases, I can protect them as well."

The New York Times and some Jewish publications reported that Hynes doesn't pursue sexual abuse cases against Ultra-Orthodox Jewish suspects as aggressively as he does others because of his political ties to the community. The reports have also claimed Hynes failed to intervene when an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish organization told him that followers had to get permission from a rabbi before reporting allegations of sex abuse to authorities.

Hynes has maintained that a significant hurdle in sex abuse cases involving Orthodox Jews is that the community cares more about protecting suspects than victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:26 AM

The Rev. Robert Marrone, priest who leads breakaway Cleveland Catholic congregation, suspended from 'priestly ministry'

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

By Michael O'Malley, The Plain Dealer

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The Rev. Robert Marrone has been suspended from priestly ministry for disobeying an order by Cleveland Catholic Bishop Richard Lennon to remove himself as pastor of a breakaway congregation, according to a letter the priest wrote to his followers.

Marrone and his congregation, the Community of St. Peter, broke away from the diocese to set up their own worship space in a commercial building in August 2010, four months after Lennon closed their church, St. Peter, in downtown Cleveland.

The closing was part of a diocesewide downsizing that saw the elimination of 50 churches.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

The Hunt for Thieves in the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

Stolen papers. Venom. Arrests. In the Roman curia, it's war. The ouster of the president of the bank. The maneuvers of Cardinal Bertone. The pope's false friends

by Sandro Magister

ROME, May 31, 2012 – There's method in this madness. Since the butler of His Holiness ended up in jail, the scene has suddenly changed. At center stage is no longer the dispute over the contents of the stolen papers. It's the thieves. Intent on scheming in the shadow of a venerable white robe.

"With justice eliminated, what are kingdoms if not a great band of thieves?" The phrase is from Saint Augustine, but it was Benedict XVI who cited it in his first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est" of 2005. He didn't know that seven years later it would become the public image of the Vatican. A citadel devastated by thievery, with no corner left inviolate, not even that "sancta sanctorum" which the private desk of the pope should be.

The real or presumed thieves of Vatican papers have declared in chorus to the newspapers, under anonymity, that they acted precisely out of love for the pope, to help him clean house. And it is true that none of the wrondoing laid bare in the documents involves his person. But it is even more true that everything falls upon him, inexorably.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

Vatican (embassy) opens doors to nun protesters

WASHINGTON (DC)
dotCommonweal

Posted by David Gibson

The Holy Spirit? Smart PR? Or karmic blowback from the Vatican’s curial disasters?

Sister Maureen Fielder reports that when a group of protestors supporting the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which has come under the Vatican thumb, showed up at the Vatican Embassy in Washington on Tuesday, the papal nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, welcomed some of them into the embassy.

Vigano invited two people to sit down and chat and he received their petition asking that the sanctions against LCWR be withdrawn:

In the course of the conversation, he [Vigano] made it known he had been at the beginning of the LCWR board meeting (which started Tuesday and ends Friday). Later, he invited about 20 people into the embassy to see the chapel and offer prayers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Wis archdiocese paid priests to leave ministry

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Boston Globe

MILWAUKEE—The Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it had a policy to pay suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.

The acknowledgement was prompted by a document made public by abuse victims' advocates from the archdiocese's bankruptcy that references a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to "unassignable priests" who accepted a return to the laity. The policy was crafted under then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is now a cardinal and head of the archdiocese in New York.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The archdiocese disputes that characterization, saying the payments were in part to more quickly move those men out of the priesthood.

The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

PRESS RELEASE - CANDLELIGHT VIGIL TO BE HELD FOR CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS AT CATHOLIC HAITI CONFERENCE

WASHINGTON (DC)
Haiti: "One Table, Many Partners" Conference, Focus on the Protection of Children from Sexual Abuse

Victims and Child Protection Advocates to Hold Candlelight Vigil at Catholic Haiti Conference
in Washington, D.C.

They mourn for children in Haiti and throughout the world who are being sexually abused

They want Catholic missionary groups to implement child protection policies

WHERE - Outside Caldwell Auditorium on the Catholic University campus, Washington, D.C.

WHEN - Friday, June 1, 2012, 4:30 p.m to 6:15 p.m.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Etowah County man sentenced to 30 years on Rape charges

GADSDEN (AL)
WAAY

GADSDEN, Ala. (WAAY) - An Etowah County man has been sentenced to 110 years in prison after being convicted on Rape and Sexual Abuse charges last month.

61 year old Thomas Russell Reilly received thirty years imprisonment on the charge of Rape in the First Degree, and twenty years as to each of the four charges of Sexual Abuse.

The sentence was handed down Wednesday by Judge Allen Millican.

During the trial, witnesses indicated that Reilly allowed young girls to spend the night with him, then took them to the Tabernacle Church the next day. The girls were between the ages of 5-10 at the time. During the sleepovers, the girls said he touched them inappropriately. One of the girls claimed she had sexual intercourse with Reilly when she was only 7 years old.

During sentencing, Millican had choice words for several local supporters of Reilly, who had complained about the handling of the case : “Ladies and gentlemen, I notice there are a lot of folks here this morning that came and watched this trial, and I received some mail from some of the elders in the church that watched this trial." Millican said. "Some of the mail made reference to an overzealous district attorney and the fact that if they were on the jury they would find reasonable doubt.”

Quoting Matthew 22:21, the judge said, “I am here to tell you that I heard a wise man once say, ‘Render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar’s and unto God those things that are God’s.’ I pray about my cases, every one I have to try and rule about. I don’t appreciate somebody trying to second guess me on something like that and sending me stuff from the House of the Lord. Ya’ll need to tend to your business, and I’ll tend to mine.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 AM

Ex-school worker pleads to sex assault

HOLLAND (MI)
WOOD

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) - A former Holland Public Schools worker accused assaulting three middle school students in 2006 has pleaded guilty to some of the charges against him.

Jonathan Meyer pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Meyer, 32, was originally charged with three counts of first-degree CSC. He was a lunchroom supervisor at Holland's West Middle School at the time of the assaults and was also a church youth leader at Christ Memorial Church in Holland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

Man sentenced for rape, sex abuse involving young girls

GADSDEN (AL)
Gadsden Times

By Kendra Carter
Times Staff Writer

A 59-year-old Gadsden man convicted of rape and sex abuse involving four young girls he befriended at the church where he volunteered on Wednesday was sentenced to prison terms totaling 110 years.

Thomas Russell Reilly appeared before Etowah County Circuit Judge Allen Millican for sentencing on one count of first-degree rape and four counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 years of age, according to a news release from the Etowah County District Attorney’s Office.

Reilly was convicted April 5 by an Etowah County jury.

Millican sentenced Reilly to 30 years in state prison on the rape charge and 20 years for each of the sexual abuse charges. The judge ordered the terms to be served concurrently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

Limitation on child sexual abuse complaints may be extended

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Lisa Wangsness
| Globe Staff
May 31, 2012

Victims of child sexual abuse who missed deadlines for filing civil claims against their abusers may get a two-year window during which they could bring old cases to court, under one legislative scenario under discussion on Beacon Hill.

If victims could prove the abuse occurred, the maximum they could collect from any nonprofit organization held responsible would be capped at $20,000, the existing limit.

Those potential provisions are being discussed as part of a move by lawmakers to scale back a proposal, opposed by the Catholic Church, that would have made sweeping changes to the legal remedies available to people sexually abused as children.

The original legislation, which even some proponents consider too far-reaching, would eliminate the statute of limitations entirely for criminal and civil cases involving child sexual abuse, letting people come forward for an unlimited amount of time.

It also would get rid of the $20,000 limit on civil damages for nonprofit organizations, a cap established in the early 1970s to protect charities from being wiped out by lawsuits, in cases related to child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Priest Abuse Jury Hears Closing Arguments Today

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - With over two months of evidence behind them, jurors in the landmark clergy sexual abuse case are scheduled to hear closing arguments today. Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official charged with endangering children by allegedly protecting and covering up for predator priests.

The prosecution alleges Monsignor William Lynn failed to act to protect children from two dangerous priests. One of those priests, co-defendant James Brennan, has pleaded not guilty and the defense argues he never abused the victim who testified against him in this trial.

The second priest, Edward Avery, also a former co-defendant, pleaded guilty just before trial admitting he sexually abused a boy in 1999.

Lynn, testifying in his own behalf, told the jury he was sorry about that. But he did not accept blame. He testified he did the best he could, but the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua had authority for priest placements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Wife of pastor charged with sodomy, possession of child porn

MISSISSIPPI
KBTV

(KFVS) - The wife of an East Prairie pastor charged with statutory sodomy and possession of child porn is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Beth Lynnette Allen, 36, is charged with the endangering welfare of a child-1st Degree.

Her husband, Kenneth Neal Allen, 36, is charged with three counts of first degree statutory sodomy and possession of child pornography.

The East Prairie community says Kenneth Allen is the Pastor at Grace Apostolic Church.

According to the probable cause statement, Beth Allen is a state paid child care provider and knew about an instance when her husband allegedly inappropriately touched a male child and failed to report it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Judge, lawyers confer in clergy sex case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
UPI

PHILADELPHIA, May 30 (UPI) -- Lawyers in a Philadelphia clergy sex abuse trial met privately with the judge Wednesday to go over instructions that will be given to the jury.

Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina summoned prosecution and defense attorneys to the closed-door meeting the day after testimony in the landmark trial ended, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Closing arguments will be Thursday, and the jury could get the case Friday, the newspaper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

In Milwaukee Post, Cardinal Authorized Paying Abusers

MILWAUKEE (WI)
The New York Times

[2003 Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN

Published: May 30, 2012

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York authorized payments of as much as $20,000 to sexually abusive priests as an incentive for them to agree to dismissal from the priesthood when he was the archbishop of Milwaukee.

Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”

But a document unearthed during bankruptcy proceedings for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and made public by victims’ advocates reveals that the archdiocese did make such payments to multiple accused priests to encourage them to seek dismissal, thereby allowing the church to remove them from the payroll.

A spokesman for the archdiocese confirmed on Wednesday that payments of as much as $20,000 were made to “a handful” of accused priests “as a motivation” not to contest being defrocked. The process, known as “laicization,” is a formal church juridical procedure that requires Vatican approval, and can take far longer if the priest objects.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

Sewickley priest on leave pending probe into computer use

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thursday, May 31, 2012

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Catholic priest known for interfaith work is on a voluntary leave of absence while the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County district attorney decide whether his Facebook posts or other computer use amount to sexual abuse of a minor.

The Rev. Daniel Valentine, 63, pastor of St. James parish in Sewickley, took personal leave on May 19 on the advice of diocesan officials, said the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, spokesman for the diocese. While on leave, he is not permitted to wear clerical garb or exercise public ministry.

Father Lengwin would not describe the posts. The diocese hasn't decided if they cross the line into behavior prohibited by the church's child protection charter, he said.

"I don't think we've made a determination what this is," Father Lengwin said.

In late April, he said, a family came to the diocese "and expressed deep concern about a posting on Facebook to one of their minor children. Having heard it, we determined that it should be turned over to the district attorney's office."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

Cardinal linked to payments to abusers

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Equities

United Press International
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, approved payments to priests suspected of abuse in the Milwaukee archdiocese, church documents show.

A spokesman for the church in Milwaukee said the payments, some as high as $20,000, were made to encourage priests to resign and not to challenge the decision to remove them from the priesthood, The New York Times reported Thursday.

"It was a way to provide an incentive to go the voluntary route and make it happen quickly, and ultimately cost less," Jerry Topczewski said Wednesday. "Their cooperation made the process a lot more expeditious."

Dolan served as archbishop of Milwaukee from 2002 to 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI named him head of the New York archdiocese, the highest-profile position in the U.S. Catholic Church. He became a cardinal in 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 AM

May 30, 2012

AP Interview: Papal leaks author calm amid storm

ROME
San Antonio Express-News

NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

Updated 03:34 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ROME (AP) — For someone at the center of one of the Vatican's greatest scandals in recent decades, Gianluigi Nuzzi seems awfully cool.

The investigative journalist who published a book of leaked papal documents begs to get off the phone one day because he's playing with his two kids at home in Milan. A day later he's ensconced in a swank hotel on Rome's Via Veneto, joking about cutting his journalistic chops as a 13-year-old writing for a weekly Mickey Mouse magazine.

But Nuzzi, 42, is very much in the hot seat for revealing the secrets of one of the most secretive institutions in the world, accused of an unprecedented attack on both the pope and the Catholic Church.

"His Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI" was published last week. In the few days since, it has become the most-talked about book in Italy and the Vatican, 273 pages of leaked Holy See documents and analysis of the Vatican's internal machinery that represents its biggest security breach in recent history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

A Recipe for Child Protection: Add One Part Hero

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 30, 2012

No one—I repeat: NO ONE— wants to get in front of television cameras and say that they were sexually abused. But when someone does, and does it in an eloquent, emotional and powerful way, that person changes the world.

Case in point: Jessica Bohman

According to Bohman, her family members, and a lawsuit she just filed in Kern County Superior Court, Jessica was sexually abused by Foursquare Church youth minister Damon Young from when she was approximately 4 until she was 8 years old. Damon was 14.

But his young age didn’t stop Damon from admitting to abusing her and other girls at the church. (I hope to post a copy of the police report soon.) According to the lawsuit, he’d brazenly take Jessica out of church day care and molest her while her parents were at church services, even though, according to the lawsuit, Foursquare church officials knew he was acting inappropriately around the young girls. When I saw “inappropriate,” I mean that he would rub his crotch against little girls when adults were around. This is bad stuff. There is no question that the Young should have been immediately pulled out of youth ministry, the police called and the kids helped. But no one picked up the phone to report their suspicions.

When Jessica had a sex ed class in junior high, she suddenly realized that what happened to her was very, very wrong.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

Bijna helft priesters tegen celibaat

NEDERLAND
ND

Veertig procent van de priesters in Nederland vindt dat het celibaat afgeschaft moet worden. Dat meldt het NCRV-programma Altijd Wat, dat met een anonieme enquête priesters ondervroeg. Van de veertig procent die voor afschaffing is, denkt 22 procent dat de regel seksueel misbruik in de hand werkt.

De groep voorstanders van het celibaat bleek bijna even groot als de groep tegenstanders, 39 procent vindt dat het celibaat behouden moet blijven. De overige 21 procent oordeelde neutraal over de regel die stelt dat priesters niet mogen trouwen of seksueel contact mogen hebben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese confirms paying off troubled priests to leave

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTAQ

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - The Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese confirms that it paid priests who were suspected of sexual abuse to leave their ministries.

That’s after a document in the church’s current bankruptcy case described a proposal from 2003 to pay $20,000 to what were called “unassignable priests.”

Julie Wolf said the payments were intended to speed up the departure process for pedophile priests, in response to critics who demanded that all abusive priests be defrocked.

The Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests called it payoff for child molesting priests. And it demanded that the archdiocese release all records about the payments, and other details on how the Milwaukee church handled sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

SNAP says some priests were paid to leave priesthood

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Fox 6

[2003 Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

MILWAUKEE — The group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says some priests in the Milwaukee Archdiocese were paid to leave the priesthood.

According to the Milwaukee Archdiocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy records, in 2003, the Archdiocese Finance Council discussed a plan where known child molesters would be paid $20,000 to quietly leave the priesthood.

They also say in 2011, the Archdiocese would make a final payment of $90,000 to nine priests undergoing the process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Archdiocese paid abusive priests to leave ministry

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Wisconsin State Journal

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has confirmed that it paid suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.

That comes after a document surfaced in the archdiocese's bankruptcy discussing a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to "unassignable priests" who accept a return to the laity.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterizes the payments as a payoff and bonuses to priests who molested children. The group is calling on the archdiocese to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Landmark Philly Abuse Trial Nears Completion, What the Media is Missing

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
TheMediaReport

Dave Pierre

Closing arguments will begin on Thursday in the high-profile Catholic criminal abuse trial in Philadelphia, and the media is not giving some important facts the attention they deserve.

1. The two trial defendants have already scored significant victories in their cases.

The prosecution went into the trial that began on March 26 with the astonishing charges that Msgr. William J. Lynn and Rev. James J. Brennan actually conspired together with the intention to abuse children.

The charges were so wild and so far off base that even Judge Teresa Sarmina – who has sided with the prosecution nearly every step of the way in this ordeal – outright dismissed most of these charges from the bench two weeks ago. This was even though the jury had already sat for nearly two months of testimony!

Sarmina's ruling prompted journalist Ralph Cipriano to note:

"Observers were left to wonder why Father Brennan was even in the courtroom most days, as the vast majority of evidence in the case, and some 43 out of 48 prosecution witnesses, had absolutely nothing to do with him … With no connection between Father Brennan and Msgr. Lynn, it made absolutely no sense to try the two together."

2. Prosecutors have essentially admitted that an important episode in last year's grand jury report was largely a work of fiction.

The much-cited report chronicled in stomach-turning detail the story of Rev. Brennan committing a brutal, all-night rape of 14-year-old Mark Bukowski in 1996. (Mark's full name is in the report, and he has given permission for his name to be public.)

By the time the trial started, however, prosecutors claimed that Brennan "almost raped" Mark. That's a big discrepancy. In addition, the defense has argued that Mark has notable credibility issues, which include a lengthy criminal record of fraud and filing false police reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 PM

Settlement reached on sex abuse cases in Spokane diocese

WASHINGTON
The Seattle Times

The Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. —
Parishioners of Catholic churches in Spokane are being asked to contribute another $1.5 million toward a broad legal settlement to help resolve clergy sex abuse claims that have dogged the diocese for a decade.

The Spokesman-Review reported Wednesday it was the second settlement in five years that has been billed as ending the bankruptcy of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane.

A letter written by Spokane Bishop Blase Cupich and distributed to parishioners on Sunday sought to assure churchgoers that the threat of foreclosure had passed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Archdiocese confirms payments to abusive priests who left ministry

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[2003 Minutes of the Archdiocesan Finance Council]

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it paid suspected pedophile priests to surrender their clerical collars, after a document surfaced in its bankruptcy discussing a 2003 proposal to pay $20,000 to "unassignable priests" who accept laicization.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests characterized the payments as payoffs and bonuses to priests who molested children, noting it was just $10,000 less than the $30,000 the archdiocese hoped to pay victims, according to the same document. And it called on church authorities on Wednesday to release all records involving the payments and its handling of clergy sex abuse cases.

"You don't give a bonus to a man who rapes children," SNAP's Midwest director Peter Isely said outside the federal courthouse in Milwaukee. "If they paid them anything it should have been for therapy and counseling."

Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said the payments were intended to speed up the laicization process, in response to criticism by SNAP and others who called for offender priests to be defrocked. She disputed their characterization as a payoff, saying the money was meant to help the men transition back into lay life.

Wolf said she had no information about how much was paid and to whom over the years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

Legionaries of Christ quit California base

CALIFORNIA
CathNews

Citing its need to restructure in the United States after a series of sex abuse scandals involving its founder and several prominent members, the Legionaries of Christ are withdrawing from the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sacramento, California, effective July 1, reports NCR Online.

The order has administered the large Hispanic parish in the state capital for the last 12 years.

Their departure follows the closure last year of their two local schools, the University of Sacramento and the Immaculate Conception Apostolic School, because of diminishing enrollment.

"Our religious congregation has suffered a crisis in the past few years and we must restructure ourselves in the United States," said Fr Lino Otero, pastor, in a message to parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 PM

Woman Sues Church, Youth Pastor; Alleges Sexual Molestation

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
23ABC

[with video]

Christine Dinh - 23ABC East Bakersfield Reporter

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- A local woman is filing a lawsuit claiming a youth minister from Four Square Church molested her when she was a child.

23 ABC is not identifying the youth pastor accused in the case because he was a juvenile at the time of the alleged assaults.

In a civil complaint, Jessica Bowman claims that, starting from 1987 when she was 4 years old, she was sexually molested by a 14-year-old Four Square church volunteer who later became her youth minister.

"(I remember) him touching me, touching me under my clothes, making me touch him," said Bowman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 PM

Unique Vatican court system tackles petty to serious crimes

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- From picked pockets to a 1998 double murder and suicide, the Vatican legal system has dealt with a vast array of crimes and misdemeanors over the decades.

Now it has begun a formal inquiry into the case of the pope's personal assistant who has been implicated in the media-blitzed "VatiLeaks" scandal. Paolo Gabriele, the pope's valet since 2006, was arrested May 23 by Vatican security for having unauthorized documents in his possession.

As the case unfolds in the coming weeks, many may wonder how the Vatican City State's unique judicial system works.

Its legal foundations are rooted in the Code of Canon Law, papal decrees, the Lateran Pacts, and Italian and Roman municipal laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Ireland's church shows sign of renewal after loss of credibility

IRELAND
Catholic News Service

By Michael Kelly
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN (CNS) -- Ireland's Catholic Church, host of the International Eucharistic Congress, has suffered a dramatic loss of credibility in recent years, but also shows signs of renewal after a decade of turbulence.

While a recent survey by the Association of Catholic Priests found that weekly Mass attendance throughout the country is one of the highest in Europe at 35 percent, the capital -- where Mass attendance in some parishes is 2 percent -- has been hit by a combination of religious apathy, secularism and disenchantment as a result of clergy sex abuse scandals.

David Quinn of The Iona Institute, a think-tank that aims to highlight the benefits of religion for society, believes it is wrong to present all of the church's challenges as being linked to clerical abuse scandals. The shift in public opinion, he said, is "driven primarily by the secularizing trends that would have overtaken the rest of Europe over the last century, and only secondly actually by the scandals, because the downward trends were in place before the scandals ever came to light."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 PM

SNAP Wisconsin letter to Archbishop Listecki

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

May 30, 2012

To: Jerome Listecki, Archbishop of Milwaukee
From: Peter Isely, SNAP Midwest Director
Re: Dolan’s laicization payouts to priest sex offenders

Archbishop Listecki,

The biblical account of the events that led to Christ’s execution begin, of course, with the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, one of the twelve disciples, to religious and political authorities. That betrayal was marked and sealed by a disbursement of money: 30 pieces of silver. So it is with considerable dismay to learn that the apostolic leaders of the Milwaukee church, who gather the faithful around the name and memory of Christ, have been apparently engaged in paying off those who betrayed the children of our archdiocese.

Minutes from a March 2003 Archdiocese Finance Council meeting, which have surfaced in Milwaukee Federal Bankruptcy Court, appear to confirm what we survivors and our families have long suspected, that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, under the leadership of Archbishop Dolan and Bishop Sklba, were paying off priests who committed criminal acts of rape, sexual assault and abuse against youngsters. According to the minutes of this meeting, a plan was discussed by Dolan and Sklba and others whereby known priest child molesters would be paid $20,000 each to quietly leave the priesthood through the Vatican’s administrative process of laicization, $10,000 at the beginning of the process and $10,000 upon completing it.

Evidence shows the plan was implemented. In 2006, pedophile cleric Franklyn Becker made admissions to the Milwaukee media and confirmed by the Archdiocese that he had been cut a $10,000 check to sign his laicization papers. This money was a “signing bonus” with no restrictions applied. Dolan claimed at the time that this was an isolated incident of “charity”. Yet, in July of 2011, further evidence of a payout scheme was revealed when you acknowledged that the archdiocese would be making a “final” payment of $90,000 to nine priests undergoing laicization. A few months later you put the archdiocese into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Contradicting Dolan’s emphatic denials...

WISCONSIN
SNAP Wisconsin

Contradicting Dolan’s emphatic denials, Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirms pedophile priests paid off under his watch

Statement by Peter Isely Midwest Director (Milwaukee)
CONTACT: 414.429.7259

This afternoon the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has confirmed charges brought in a press conference this morning by SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee under the direction of Cardinal Timothy Dolan routinely paid off pedophiles to quietly leave the priesthood and disappear into the community. Dolan emphatically denied such a charge in 2006. But a new document surfacing in the Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy case shows that Dolan had discussed such a scheme with his Finance Council in 2003. Now we know, he implemented it.

According to an email from Julie Wolf, the current Communications Director of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Dolan and the current Archbishop Jerome Listecki paid off offender priests at least $20,000 each—over and above their pensions, health care and other possible benefits—because it was a “faster and less expensive” way to have them “laicized” by the Vatican. Laicization is an administrative procedure to have a priest defrocked. In other words, if you’re a priest who has committed criminal conduct you get to remain a priest for some indefinite period of time unless you can be bribed to voluntarily sign a piece of paper which is sent to Rome that says you won’t function as a priest anymore. This is as ludicrous as a school board, instead of firing a teacher for criminal acts against children, calling the police, and revoking his license to teach, instead saying that they had to pay the child molester tens of thousands of dollars to hand over their license to the board.

How wrong would it be to use church funds for these kinds of payouts to pedophiles? Ask Cardinal Dolan. When serial child predator Fr. Franklyn Becker admitted in 2006 that he had, indeed, been paid $10,000 dollars for signing his laicization papers and SNAP demanded an answer from the archdiocese, here is what Dolan said: “For anyone to assert that this money was a ‘payoff’ or occurred in exchange for Becker agreeing to leave the priesthood is completely false, preposterous and unjust.” Dolan went on to say the Becker’s payout was for “charitable” reasons and health insurance. Yet, the minutes that have now surfaced from a 2003 Archdiocese of Milwaukee Finance Council meeting, attended by Dolan and his auxiliary bishop Richard Sklba, make very clear that these laicization payouts were independent of salaries, pensions and health insurance. They were a no strings attached financial bonus to help child molesters walk away from the priesthood and disappear into the community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Closing arguments Thursday in Pa. priest trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Herald Online

By MARYCLAIRE DALE — Associated Press

Posted: 4:39pm on May 30, 2012

In opening statements in March, a prosecutor called the alleged cover-up of child sexual assaults by priests a battle between right and wrong within the Philadelphia archdiocese.

But hundreds of church documents aired at trial suggest there was little internal debate among Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua and his top men on how to handle the complaints: Ask the priest if he did it. Send him to a church-run hospital. Tell the parish he's on "health leave." And unless he's diagnosed as a pedophile, transfer him to another position.

Bevilacqua made Monsignor William Lynn his point person for the thankless job from 1992 to 2004, when Lynn served as secretary for clergy. Now jurors will have to decide - after closing arguments Thursday - whether the mild-mannered Lynn alone should be held criminally responsible for the sins of the church.

Bevilacqua has died. And none of his other confidantes have been charged.

"No matter how it turns out, it is one of the most significant trials in the United States having to do with this, with sexual abuse," said psychologist Richard Sipe, a former priest who's now an expert on priest sexual abuse. "It's made clear what everybody has known - that the responsibility goes way up. That, of course, is what Lynn is saying: 'The cardinal is responsible.' He conveniently died. That was a very convenient death."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

SNAP applauds removal of priest in Pittsburgh

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on May 30, 2012

It is a frightening fact that modern technology has greatly closed the gap between predators and children, and we urge parents to be vigilant about what kind of people are contacting their children online.

We are grateful to Pittsburgh law enforcement for looking into this matter and are grateful that Rev. Daniel Valentine has been removed from his parish. Bishop Zubik isn't a police officer or prosecutor. So he has no business minimizing Valentine's actions or claiming they weren't criminal. (It's doubtful law enforcement would be involved if the priest was talking to the child about Hot Wheels or Winnie the Pooh.)

We urge anyone who may have seen, suffered, or suspected Valentine’s misdeeds crimes will come forward and call police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

NPR REPORTER SLAMS PRIESTS

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

On May 27, Barbara Bradley Hagerty did a piece that was posted on the website of National Public Radio (NPR) titled, “Just Doing His Job Is Catholic Official’s Defense.” Here is how she opened her story:

“A clergy sex-abuse trial in is [sic] reaching a crescendo in a Philadelphia courtroom. One defendant is James Brennan, a priest accused of trying to rape a minor, which is not that unusual.” [Emphasis added.]

Bill Donohue comments as follows:

We are asking NPR to respond to our complaint. In this day and age when it is considered taboo to make sweeping generalizations of a negative sort about so many demographic groups, it is astonishing that NPR would allow this bigoted swipe at Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Vatican crisis highlights pope failure to reform Curia

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

VATICAN CITY | Wed May 30, 2012

(Reuters) - When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict in 2005, epithets like "God's Rottweiler" and "Panzerkardinal" suggested he would bring some German efficiency to the opaque Vatican bureaucracy, the Curia.

Instead, as the "Vatileaks" scandal has revealed, the head of the Roman Catholic Church can't even keep his own private mail secret. His hand-picked deputy, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, faces a "monsignors' mutiny" by prelates in the halls of power.

Benedict's papacy has been marked until now by controversies over things he has said and done, such as his criticism of Islam at Regensburg in 2006 or his 2009 decision to readmit four excommunicated ultra-traditionalist bishops to the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Italian journalist defends Vatican leaks

ROME
Chicago Tribune

Silvia Aloisi and Paolo Biondi
Reuters

11:32 a.m. CDT, May 30, 2012

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian journalist behind a leaks scandal shaking the Roman Catholic Church denies Vatican accusations he is a criminal and says he was only doing his duty to uncover the truth.

Gianluigi Nuzzi's book, alleging corruption and conspiracies among cardinals in a Vatican struggle for power, has led to a hunt for informants in the Holy See and the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI's butler, one of the people closest to him.

"My job is to find and publish news, it is my ethical duty. These documents reveal the secrets of the Vatican but there is nothing in the documents that threatens the security of that state," Gianluigi Nuzzi told Reuters on Wednesday.

He spoke as the pope denounced what he called false media coverage of the scandal, which his aides have branded a brutal, personal attack on the ageing pontiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Milwaukee Archdiocese confirms it paid pedophile priests to leave church

MILWAUKEE (WI)
TMJ4

[with video]

[archdiocesan financial council minutes]

MILWAUKEE - The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee confirmed Wednesday that it paid suspected pedophile priests to leave the church.

"In 2002, the Church affirmed that priest offenders should no longer be functioning as priests in any capacity and having someone seek laicization voluntarily is faster and less expensive and it made sense to try and move these men out of the priesthood as quickly as possible," Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf said in an email.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said Tuesday that it had proof that former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan took part in a 2003 finance council meeting where a plan to pay pedophile priests and child molesters $20,000 each to quietly leave was discussed.

Dolan left the Milwaukee Archdiocese in 2009 and is now the Cardinal of New York.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Cardinal Dolan faces questions about handling of accused priests in Milwaukee

NEW YORK
Staten Island Advance

By Maura Grunlund

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is accusing New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan of being part of a plan to "pay off" accused child-molester priests to quietly leave the priesthood and cheated victims out of appropriate compensation.

A spokesman for Cardinal Dolan has not returned a request for comment by the Advance.

SNAP members who are making an announcement today in Milwaukee are citing the minutes from a March 2003 Milwaukee Archdiocese Finance council meeting (see PDF document below), when Cardinal Dolan was archbishop of that diocese. The minutes show that there was a discussion about "unassignable priests" receiving full salary.

It was proposed at the meeting to reduce their benefit to $1,250 per month, the same as their pension benefit, and to offer to pay them $20,000 for laicization -- leaving the priesthood. The payouts were to be $10,000 at the beginning of the process and $10,000 at completion, independent of the cleric's salary, pension and benefits. SNAP alleges that the plan was accepted and implemented based on what it claims were payments to accused members of the clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Archdiocese of Milwaukee Finance Council Minutes of March 7, 2003 Meeting

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee via SNAP

Present: Archbishop Dolan, Bishop Skiba, Mark Doll, Patricia O’Donoghue, Rev. Phil Reifenberg, Wayne A. Schneider, Sr. Janet Senderak, SSND, Joseph Terrian, Rev. Donald Thimm

Excused: Thomas Bausch, T. Michael Bolger, Joan Braun
Recording Secretary: Kim Stollenwerk

California lawsuit - Siegfried Widera
This lawsuit was filed against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Orange in
California alleging abuse 30+ years ago. So far, only one case has been filed, but we are anticipating three or four more. The costs may be as high as $400,000 per victim. There will be some insurance coverage, however it will take a long time to recover. The insurance companies argue that the Archdiocese was negligent and therefore coverage does not apply. Results of the psychiatric evaluations of the victim have not yet been received.

Archbishop Cousins sent a letter to the Diocese of Orange outlining the problems with Fr.
Widera.

Pastoral Mediation
Our care for victims goes beyond the law. We provide care/therapy even if the statute of limitations has passed and the victims are unable to take legal action. Restorative justice makes reparations for lost jobs, education, etc. due to the depression and other psychological effects of abuse. This is a process done without an attorney for either side.

Currently, Marquette University has a mediation program in place. Also, Barbara Anne Cusack, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, has done research in this area. Several victims have come forward and think pastoral mediation sounds helpful. Pastoral mediation has been in place for many years now, however it has not had a formal edict. The maximum settlement amount is $30,000 per victim. This amount is a goal and is not concrete.

The Finance Council believes this is a step in the right direction. There could be hundred of
legitimate victims asking for $30,000 each. Since this cannot be taken from CSA, how would this be funded? If the costs become too great, they would have to be borrowed. A loan would be internal and probably would come from the Income Care Fund. It would be hoped that some funding would come from the insurance and would help repay the loan.

The worst-case scenario would force the Archdiocese to liquidate property. If Wisconsin takes the same approach as California and offers a one-year reprieve on the statute of limitations, then more drastic action would need to be taken. This could result in program cuts, seminary cuts, etc.

Currently, we are working on setting up a Trust Fund to shelter the Parish Deposit Fund.

Budget
The net deficit of the proposed budgets submitted is $1.7 million. The Cabinet has been and will continue to meet to discuss and revise the budget. Many options have surfaced, such as sharing of staff (some offices are already doing this), reducing the contribution to the priests’ pension plan, capping salary increases, increasing the percentage of health insurance premiums shared by employees, reduce the office cleaning services. Some of the options are drastic and may not be feasible at this time. St. Francis Seminary must be made aware of our predicament and be willing to share In budget cuts. Since parishes have already completed their budgeting processes, we would not be able to increase parish assessments for the coming year. Finance Council approval would be needed to eliminate the 8% cap in increases in assessments or imposing a 10% penalty for failure of a parish to report their financial statements. Another option may be to reduce or eliminate the
subsidized lunch program for employees.

Currently unassignable priests are receiving full salaries and are budgeted under the Vicar for Clergy. There is a proposal to reduce their benefit to be the same as the current pension benefit, $1,250 per month and also offer $20,000 for laicization ($10,000 at the start and $10,000 at the completion of the process). Also, they remain on our health insurance until they find other employment. The final effect of all this is not known at this time and it may be a wash with the current budget.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Lombardi doubts that Vatican cardinals will be questioned

VATICAN CITY
AGI (Italy)

(AGI) Vatican City - The spokesperson for the Holy See, Father Federico Lombardi, has reminded journalists that cardinals "respond to the Holy Father". "I doubt that cardinals will be questioned in the current situation," Lombardi added. "I don't think it is up to Inspector Giani [the head of Italy's Gendarmeria] or the head of the Vatican judiciary [Nicola] Picardi to decide whether or not to interrogate cardinals if there is a charge against them," Lombardi continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Papal butler's lawyers ask Vatican for house arrest for their client

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The lawyers for Paolo Gabriele have petitioned Vatican magistrates for house arrest for their client, who is accused of illegally possessing stolen documents as part of the so-called "VatiLeaks" scandal.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said May 30 that the magistrates who have been holding Gabriele in the offices of the Vatican police were considering the formal request to allow him to return to his Vatican apartment with his wife and three children.

The papal assistant, a combination butler and valet, was arrested May 23 by Vatican police, who said they found stolen documents in his apartment.

Father Lombardi confirmed that Gabriele's lawyers had petitioned for house arrest. He said the magistrates were considering the request and "arrangements already are being made" in case they allow it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

Cardinal Dolan – Salad Days in Milwaukee – Paying off Pedophiles

MILWAUKEE (WI)
This Cultural Xtian

Fat Timmy Dolan’s Simony-ious rise to power in the American RC hierarchy started in his days of greasing the palms of perverts in Milwaukee and cooking the books to cheat victims of the much loved and tolerated RC clergy practice of pedophilia.

Click here

Victim/survivors of childhood sexual violence by clergy of the Milwaukee archdiocese, including leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org/SNAPwisconsin.com) will release and discuss newly uncovered minutes from a March 2003 Milwaukee Archdiocese Finance council meeting where former Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Milwaukee auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba discuss using church funds to:

–pay off known priest pedophiles and child molesters $20,000 each to quietly leave the priesthood,

–set up a “restorative justice” program to prevent victims from receiving compensation for injuries comparable to cases being filed against the archdiocese of Milwaukee in California, and

–move millions of dollars from the archdiocese into a newly invented “trust” to prevent compensating victims, the first of several such “trusts” to be set up before the archdiocese declared bankruptcy in 2011.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 PM

Sex: the three letter word destroying the Vatican

UNITED STATES
End the Lie

Richard Cottrell
Contributing writer for End the Lie

As the ship of state veers close to a deadly reef in the teeth of a violent storm, the captain and all his crew are suddenly struck blind. This is an apt simile for the uproar surrounding the extent and gravity of the child abuse scandal eating at the very fabric of the Roman Catholic Church.

The first reaction of Pope Benedict and his advisors in the circumstances is to adopt a strict policy of eyes wide shut.

Editor’s note: Here in the United States allegations of sexual abuse are swept under the rug so hastily that accused priests are actually able to hold supervisor positions with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Believe it if you will, the conference of Italian bishops has just issued new guidelines on what to do if abuse cases involving priests (or for that matter, higher ranks of the church) come to their attention.

Answer: nothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 PM

SNAP blasts Msgr. Lynn’s defense theory

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Blaine on May 30, 2012

Msgr. Lynn suggests he was overwhelmed and inexperienced, but apparently never once asked for additional personnel or training. He implies he got conflicting pressures but apparently never once sought clarity. He now blames others' "rules" but apparently never once objected to them or tried to change them.

If indeed Msgr. Lynn had these feelings of maybe wanting to do more, shouldn't there be some evidence that at some point over a decade or more he might have acted on these feelings? Yet there is none.

Here's what Msgr. Lynn did do: he lied to parishioners (and admitted that under oath, using that word) because his boss supposedly wanted him to. And not once, in almost four decades as a seminarian and priest did he ever call police about known or suspected child sex crimes, no matter how egregious or repeated they were.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 PM

Sewickley priest on leave during Facebook investigation

SWEICKLEY (PA)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

By Bobby Cherry
Gateway Newspapers

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Sewickley priest is on leave as the Allegheny County District Attorney's office investigates a complaint involving Facebook postings to a minor.

The Rev. Daniel Valentine, a St. James priest, began a leave of absence May 19 because of a complaint about Facebook postings, according to a letter from Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Bishop David Zubik. District Attorney's office spokesman Mike Manko confirmed his office received a request to investigate.

Valentine could not be reached for comment.

In a letter to parishioners posted on the St. James website, Zubik said he instructed diocesan staff to ask the District Attorney's office to do a forensic audit of the computers at Saint James Parish and Valentine's personal computer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

Austrians at odds about Schönborn

AUSTRIA
Austrian Independent

One in five Austrians consider Viennese Archbishop Christoph Cardinal Schönborn as a reactionary clergyman.

Public opinion research group Karmasin found that 20 per cent of people think that Schönborn, the highest representative of the Roman Catholic Church in Austria and head of the Conference of Bishops, has a conservative attitude.

The poll – for which 500 people were interviewed – also shows that, with 47 per cent, almost half of Austrians categorise Schönborn as neither reactionary nor progressive. Around 17 per cent regard Schönborn as progressive.

Researcher Sophie Karmasin told magazine profil – for which her agency conducted the survey – that she did not expect the Church’s reputation to improve due to Schönborn’s decision concerning the controversy in Stützenhofen. Karmasin added that the archbishop’s decision to issue a warning towards the Preachers’ Initiative was unlikely to have a significant impact either.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Factbox on the Vatican bank and dismissal of its president

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

The Vatican bank has been shaken by the dismissal of its President, Italian Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who was removed by its board of external financial experts over accusations of negligence and failing to fulfil basic duties. A day after Gotti Tedeschi’s sacking, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict’s butler had been arrested and accused of leaking secret church documents in what has evolved into the worst internal crisis of Benedict’s papacy.

Here is a look at the 70 year-old Vatican Bank and its scandals:

* The Vatican bank, known formally as the Institute for the Works of Religion, (IOR) was established in 1942 by Pope Pius XII and is used by Vatican agencies, church organisations, bishops and religious orders around the world.
* It is a privately held institution located inside Vatican City run by a professional bank CEO who reports directly to a committee of cardinals, and ultimately to the Pope.
* It offers currency exchange services and interest-bearing accounts and has an investment portfolio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 PM

Sewickley Priest Takes Leave of Absence During Investigation

SEWICKLEY (PA)
Patch

[the bishop's letter]

By Larissa Dudkiewicz

The priest at St. James Church has taken a leave of absence during an ongoing investigation from the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office involving Facebook messages to a minor, according to the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese.

Pittsburgh Catholic Bishop David Zubik said in a letter posted on the parish's website that a complaint was recently made against the Rev. Dan Valentine regarding Facebook postings the St. James priest for six years made to a minor.

“As a result of the complaint, I directed my staff to share all information with the office of the District Attorney of Allegheny County,” Zubik wrote in a letter that was read to church parishioners on Sunday.

Zubik said the DA’s office informed the diocese that while the postings were "a matter of poor judgment," there was no criminal activity involved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Pittsburgh-area priest on leave in Facebook probe

SEWICKLEY (PA)
WFMJ

SEWICKLEY, Pa. (AP) - Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik says a parish priest has taken a leave of absence while prosecutors review a complaint that the priest allegedly posted messages to a minor on Facebook.

Zubik says Allegheny County prosecutors have determined the postings amount to "poor judgment" rather than "criminal activity" and that he hopes the Rev. Daniel Valentine will return to duty soon with St. James Catholic Church in Pittsburgh's upscale suburb of Sewickley.

A spokesman for the district attorney's office confirmed the diocese had referred the case for investigation, but wouldn't comment further.

The Beaver County Times (http://bit.ly/JPv7F6 ) reports Wednesday that church officials are performing a forensic audit on computers owned by the church and the priest, who is cooperating with the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Pope breaks silence over Vatileaks scandal

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI broke his silence Wednesday over the leaked documents scandal that has convulsed the Vatican, saying he was saddened by the betrayal but grateful to those aides who work faithfully and in silence to help him do his job.

Benedict made his first direct comments on the scandal in off-the-cuff remarks at the end of his weekly general audience. He lashed out at some of the media reports about the scandal, saying the "exaggerated" and "gratuitous" rumors had offered a false image of the Holy See.

The Italian media have been in a frenzy ever since the pope's butler, Paolo Gabriele, was arrested last week after Vatican investigators discovered papal documents in his Vatican City apartment. He remains in detention and has pledged to cooperate fully with the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Pope denounces media coverage of leaks scandal says false

VATICAN CITY
Chicago Tribune

Reuters

5:33 a.m. CDT, May 30, 2012

VATICAN CITY, May 30 (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Wednesday angrily denounced media coverage of a leaks scandal shaking the Roman Catholic Church, saying it presented a false image of the Holy See.

In remarks at the end of his weekly audience for pilgrims in St Peter's square, the pontiff also expressed his full trust in close Vatican aides under fire over the scandal.

"Suggestions have multiplied, amplified by some media which are totally gratuitous and which have gone well beyond the facts, offering an image of the Holy See which does not respond to reality," Benedict said of a scandal that has seen his butler arrested for leaking private document.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

The Pope’s Butler Silenced in VatiLeaks Investigation

VATICAN CITY
The Daily Beast

The Vatican says the leaked memos weren’t just an act against the Pope—but an act against God. Barbie Latza Nadeau on how Paolo Gabriele, once the pontiff’s confidante, has been silenced.

The Vatican is in full damage control mode one week after the pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele was arrested for stealing the pope’s personal papers and leaking them to an Italian journalist. Tales of finger-pointing cardinals lobbing wild accusations against each other have made the hallowed Holy See look more like a nest of vipers. If you read the Italian press, one can’t help but visualize angry prelates in billowing cassocks shaking their fists as they accuse each other of being the “mastermind” behind the butler’s thievery. One Italian paper even suggested that an unnamed laywoman had secretly ordered the butler to do it. But the Vatican, of course, denies it all.

Father Federeico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, has insisted that “no woman” and “no cardinals” are under investigation. The butler is accused alone, he says, and he alone will face the Vatican’s secretive tribunal. Each missive from the Holy See is scripted, right down to today’s editorial in the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. In a less-than-spontaneous interview with Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican undersecretary of State, the newspaper addressed the scandal for the first time with an article called, simply, “The Papers Stolen from the Pope.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Vatican leaks: Pope sees scandal as a test not as a tragedy, says Fr. Lombardi

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The director of the Vatican Press Office returns to the Vatileaks case. The Pope’s butler is to be formally questioned by Vatican magistrates for the first time this coming weekend

Alessandro Speciale
Vatican City

We will have to wait until the end of the week or possibly even next week before Paolo Gabriele’s promise to co-operate fully with Vatican magistrates investigating the Vatileaks case becomes a reality. The former papal butler’s first formal questioning by the Promoter of Justice, Nicola Picardi, in the presence of lawyers and the investigating magistrate Piero Antonio Bonnet, is yet to take place.

The director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, had no significant updates to report on following the usual briefing with journalists on the investigation’s developments. The Commission of Cardinals that was established by the Pope last March - the Jesuit explained – is continuing its work ahead of the “report” that will be presented to Benedict XVI. It will not, however, allow the fierce media interest shown in the case in recent days, to rush the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

SNAP claims Cardinal Dolan discussed paying molesting priests to leave church

MILWAUKEE (WI)
WTMJ

MILWAUKEE - On Wednesday, a group that supports victims of abuse by priests was to make new accusations against a former Milwaukee archbishop and current New York cardinal.

They were to talk about documents which they claim show that now-Cardinal Timothy Dolan was involved in plans to pay child molesters to quietly leave the priesthood.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says they have proof that shows Dolan took part in a 2003 finance council meeting where a plan to pay pedophile priests and child molesters $20,000 each to quietly leave was discussed.

Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba allegedly was also involved in that meeting.

SNAP claims that meeting minutes show Dolan began a series of financial maneuvers to place more than $100 million into newly-invented trusts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Abuse among the Orthodox: Bad news, good news

UNITED STATES
Arizona Jewish Post

May 29, 2012
By Yoel Finkelman, Jewish Ideas Daily

(Jewish Ideas Daily) — First, the bad news: Sexual, physical, and emotional abuse occurs in Orthodox Jewish communities.

Next, the worse news: Though there is no evidence that such abuse occurs more frequently among the Orthodox than in other populations, two recent front-page New York Times stories are just the latest piece of evidence that Orthodox communities are often in denial and worse.

Rabbis and communal leaders often seek to save the community from embarrassment and, in doing so, protect the perpetrators. If children complain of being abused, their parents may silence them, or, if their parents complain too, their neighbors harass them to prevent their going to the police, claiming a religious prohibition on giving Jews up to secular authorities. Indeed, the official policy of the Haredi organization Agudath Israel of America is that school teachers or administrators who suspect abuse must ask a rabbi before going to secular authorities, New York State laws notwithstanding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Hynes Fires Back at Critics and Orthodox Leaders

NEW YORK
Forward

By Paul Berger

Published May 29, 2012.

Brooklyn’s embattled district attorney Charles Hynes sharply criticized an ultra-Orthodox umbrella group and launched a fierce defense of his record in prosecuting child sex abuse during a landmark interview with the Forward.

Sitting in the 14th floor corner office of his downtown Brooklyn headquarters, Hynes said he was in “sharp disagreement” with Agudath Israel of America’s policy that a rabbi “who has experience in the area of abuse and molestation” must be consulted before suspected abusers can be reported to the authorities.

Hynes said the policy is misguided because rabbis “have no experience or expertise in sex abuse.” He said that he had underlined his opposition to rabbis screening allegations during a telephone call with Rabbi David Zwiebel, Agudah’s executive vice president, earlier on the morning of the May 24 interview.

“(Zwiebel) still thinks they have a responsibility to screen,” Hynes said, “I disagree.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Hynes Is Late To Push for Mandate Law

NEW YORK
Forward

By Paul Berger

Published May 29, 2012.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes says he is pushing for passage of a new state law to force rabbis to report child sex allegations to authorities.

But lawmakers say Hynes has joined the legislative fray late in the state capital of Albany, and time is running out for any measure to pass this year.

“If [Hynes] wants to get something done before the session closes . . . [he’s] wasting precious moments,” said Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester). “Going through bureaucracy can take time.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Hynes Issues Warning To Rabbis On Abuse Policy

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

After months of equivocal statements about Agudath Israel’s longstanding position that — with very limited exception — child sexual abuse allegations must first be investigated by rabbis, the Brooklyn district attorney has issued a clear warning to the haredi umbrella organization that its policy puts rabbis at risk of running afoul of the law.

According to a spokesman for Charles Hynes, “DA Hynes told Dovid Zwiebel [Agudah’s executive vice president] that it was a mistake to advise someone with information about child abuse to first speak with a rabbi,” the spokesman, Jerry Schmetterer, told The Jewish Week. In doing so, Schmetterer continued, “Zwiebel … risks having the rabbi prosecuted for obstructing a law enforcement investigation.”

When asked by The Jewish Week to clarify what someone should do if he or she had information about allegations of abuse — rather than direct information about abuse — Schmetterer said the individual should “report [the allegations] to authorities for investigation.”

James A. Cohen, associate professor of law and the director of the Trial Advocacy Program & External Affairs at Fordham University School of Law, concurs with the district attorney’s position. “Encouraging delay in reporting a crime, particularly a crime against a child, is obstructing justice,” Cohen, an expert in witness tampering told The Jewish Week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Hynes’ shift on sex abuse cases puts him on collision course with Agudah

NEW YORK
JTA

NEW YORK (JTA) – Pressure is growing on the Brooklyn district attorney and the country’s major haredi Orthodox umbrella organization to change the ways they handle allegations of sexual abuse and molestation in the Orthodox community.

A series of recent reports by The New York Jewish Week, the Forward and The New York Times have brought new scrutiny to the special program that Brooklyn D.A. Charles Hynes established in 2009 to handle sex abuse allegations among haredi Jews in New York.

Under the program, Kol Tzedek, perpetrators’ names were kept confidential and Hynes apparently gave Agudath Israel of America, the Orthodox umbrella group, the impression that he sanctioned the practice of rabbis reviewing allegations before they were brought to police.

A firestorm of controversy has surrounded the program in recent weeks, in part due to a pair of front-page stories in The New York Times detailing the communal pressure that alleged victims of sex crimes face in the haredi community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

INTERVIEW WITH SUBSTITUTE FOR GENERAL AFFAIRS ON STOLEN PAPAL DOCUMENTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 30 May 2012 (VIS) - The "Osservatore Romano" newspaper today published an interview with Archbishop Angelo Becciu, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, concerning the question of stolen papal documents.

Archbishop Becciu says that he has seen the Holy Father "suffering because, on the basis of what has thus far emerged, someone very close to him would seem to have acted in a completely unjustifiable manner. Of course, the Pope's prevailing sentiment is one of pity for the person involved, but the fact remains that he has been the victim of a brutal action. Benedict XVI has had to witness the publication of letters stolen from his own home, not simply private correspondence but information, reflections, expressions of states of mind, and effusive comments which he has received merely by virtue of his ministry. For this reason the Pope is particularly sorrowful, also for the violence suffered by the writers of the letters he has received".

In the view of the Secretariat of State, the publication of these documents "is an immoral act of unprecedented gravity, especially because it is not just a serious violation of the privacy to which everybody should have the right, but a despicable abuse of the relationship of trust that exists between Benedict XVI and those who turn to him, even if they do so to express some heartfelt protest. The question does not merely involve the theft of some of the Pope's letters; the consciences of those who address him as the Vicar of Christ have been violated, and the ministry of the Successor of the Apostle Peter has come under attack".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

THE POPE: DESPITE THE WEAKNESS OF MAN, THE LORD WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT HIS CHURCH

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 30 May 2012 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, the Holy Father made some remarks concerning recent developments in the Vatican.

"The events of recent days involving the Curia and my collaborators have brought sadness to my heart. However, I have never lost my firm certainty that, despite the weakness of man, despite difficulties and trials, the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit and the Lord will ensure she never lacks the help she needs to support her on her journey.

"Nonetheless there has been increasing conjecture, amplified by the communications media, which is entirely gratuitous, goes beyond the facts and presents a completely unrealistic image of the Holy See. Thus, I wish to reiterate my trust and encouragement to my closest collaborators and to all those people who every day, in silent faithlessness and with a spirit of sacrifice, help me carry out my ministry".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Seeing Christ In Court

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholics4Change

BY KATHY KANE

I have been to the trial several times but today was a very difficult day. The courtroom was packed with Lynn supporters on the defense side and victims, family members and supporters on the prosecution side. Although, it was so crowded some late-comers had to mix in where there was an available seat. I looked around at the people who I never knew until this past year: Vicky and Steve, whose bodies were sexually violated as children; Art, whose beloved son is now gone forever; Sr. Maureen, always fighting for children and victims; Joy, who founded a support group for parents of victims; Sharon, Vicky’s rock through the hard times; Irene and her husband, who attend vigils and support Justice4PaKids; Bill and other senior citizens, who do not let age or infirmity keep them from the vigils outside the Archdiocese in the rain, cold or heat; “Had it” Kate, who returned for a second trip from New York for the trial.

Many people have made their way to room 304 over the past 8 weeks. Margaret from Catholic Accountability, who I was with the day they entered the evidence of my former parish priest Fr. Cannon; Jackie and Susan, who I sat in between as we cried the day James and Billy took the stand to speak their truth; Beth, who always extends warmth and comfort to our victims; Rich, who bravely sat and listened to the testimony of James and Billy, their stories so similar to his own; and the family members of the victims who testify. So much painful history has occupied those rows – so much pain.

You wouldn’t know that pain unless you chose to read the Grand Jury reports, met with victims and their family members, and attended on the days the victims testified (rather than only attending when Lynn testified).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Nuns' battle with Vatican echoes earlier LA battle with cardinal

UNITED STATES
KPCC

[with audio]

By Kitty Felde | May 29, 2012

The group that represents most of America’s Roman Catholic nuns meets today in Maryland to discuss what to do next after a Vatican report accused the nuns of promoting “radical feminist themes.” The battle is similar to one half-a-century ago between a group of nuns and a Los Angeles cardinal.

They’re here every Tuesday – singing, praying and waving signs outside the D.C. headquarters of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The two dozen women and men say they came to support the nuns. Jack McCarthy says they have been "at the forefront of the church’s efforts in poverty and justice. I can’t say that for the entire body of bishops."

They’re reacting to a Vatican report that says nuns don’t spend enough time defending the church’s stand against contraception and same-sex marriage. It accuses the Leadership Conference of Women Religious — which represents most American nuns — of promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.” The clash reminds protester Mary Frances Moriarty of a long-ago fight between L.A.’s Cardinal McIntyre and the Immaculate Heart nuns. "He leaned on them, didn’t he? And they said 'no'.”

That fight had its roots in the Second Vatican Council, the effort to bring the Catholic Church into the modern world. Sister Karen Kennelly is a church historian and past president of L.A.'s Mount St. Mary’s College. She says Vatican Two told religious congregations to renew themselves. "They were given a kind of a general guideline," she says, "which was to look back to their original spirit and to their original purposes and to take a good hard look at the signs of the times."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Minutes from 2003 confirm...

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Minutes from 2003 confirm: Dolan discussed paying $20,000 each to child molesters to quietly leave the priesthood

Minutes from 2003 meeting confirm: Dolan discussed paying $20,000 each to child molesters to quietly leave the priesthood

Policy appears to have been implemented, as revealed in church disbursements to pedophile clerics

Meeting also shows beginning of Dolan’s “shell game” by moving tens of millions of dollars into newly invented “trusts”

Victims want current Archbishop Listecki to reveal all payouts and costs of sex offenders, release the Milwaukee “Dolan Papers”, including all Finance Council minutes

WHO
Victim/survivors of childhood sexual violence by clergy of the Milwaukee archdiocese, including leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org/SNAPwisconsin.com) will release and discuss newly uncovered minutes from a March 2003 Milwaukee Archdiocese Finance council meeting where former Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Milwaukee auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba discuss using church funds to:

–pay off known priest pedophiles and child molesters $20,000 each to quietly leave the priesthood,

–set up a “restorative justice” program to prevent victims from receiving compensation for injuries comparable to cases being filed against the archdiocese of Milwaukee in California, and

–move millions of dollars from the archdiocese into a newly invented “trust” to prevent compensating victims, the first of several such “trusts” to be set up before the archdiocese declared bankruptcy in 2011.

Victims will also be emailing a letter Wednesday to current Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki demanding:

–full financial disclosure of all payouts and “laicization” bonuses to sex offender clerics,

–which charitable funds were used to pay-off clergy sex offenders, and

–the release of the “Dolan Papers”, including all minutes of the monthly Archdiocese Finance Council chaired by Dolan and auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba

WHEN
Wednesday, May 30, 11:30 a.m.

WHERE
On the front steps of the Federal Courthouse, 517 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

On final day of testimony...

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Washington Post

On final day of testimony, Philadelphia monsignor apologizes for priest’s sex assault

By Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A Roman Catholic church official apologized to a priest sex-abuse victim on the final day of testimony in his groundbreaking child-endangerment trial.

Jurors are set to hear closing arguments Thursday after the defense rested Tuesday afternoon for Monsignor William Lynn and a co-defendant.

Lynn, 61, who served as the Philadelphia archdiocese secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, is the first U.S. church official charged over his handling of priest-abuse complaints. He and the Rev. James Brennan have been on trial for 10 weeks.

Brennan has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a teen in 1996. Defrocked priest Edward Avery pleaded guilty to a 1999 sexual assault days before trial and is in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Director’s Notes for ALTARCATIONS

UNITED STATES
Steve Julian

No one fully knows the extent of damage.

In our lifetime, certain people within the Catholic community – priests, members of religious orders, women religious, the lay community – have molested or otherwise abused innumerable boys and girls.

The loss can be measured in dollars, sure, but no one can define the value of each damaged soul. Victims speak of shutting themselves down to the outside world, acting inappropriately themselves, or feeling a civic, cultural or religious disenfranchisement.

Some commit suicide.

The Church’s response has varied from one diocese to the next. A tug of war exists between some bishops and the Vatican, while other church leaders protect abusers through the decimation of records or failure to disclose a priest’s past when shuttling him off to an unsuspecting diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Jerome Christenson: The Vatican and its bank should soon be parted

UNITED STATES
LaCrosse Tribune

Jerome Christenson Winona Daily News | Posted: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The butler did it.

Bet you never thought you’d see that line in a legitimate news story, did you?

For that matter, I’d almost wager you didn’t know there were still people in this world who still hire butlers.

Well, it seems the pope does have a butler, and from what I read in the papers, it appears his Holiness’ head manservant is in hot water over the heist of some top-secret Vatican documents, the contents of which were leaked to the ink-stained wretches of the Italian Fourth Estate—much to the red-faced chagrin of a number of red-hatted churchmen.

I suspect they’re a bit embarrassed that the purloined papers didn’t reveal a set of sub rosa instructions from the Most High, but the sort of small-‘m’ mysteries more common to supermarket tabloids and Fox News — a variety of very much earth-bound intrigues and shenanigans among those close to the throne of the Vicar of Christ and in the top floor offices of the Vatican bank. It’s the sort of thing that carries a bit of the rancid perfume of the Borgias and of things more suited to the sensibilities of 1512 than 2012.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Polygamist paedophile Warren Jeffs has a revelation in prison: Don't abuse women

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

By Emma Reynolds

Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs has shared an apparent change of heart in his latest 'revelation' from prison, writing that women should not be abused.

The Fundamentalist Latter-Day Saints Church leader is serving a 130-year sentence at Powledge Unit near Palestine, Texas, for systematic child sex assault and marrying underage girls.

The 56-year-old's 'revelation', one of a series of religious messages he has addressed to the Utah State Attorney General, is dated 13 May, just days before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected his appeal.

Jeffs wrote, 'Let women be free, to be educated, to have full protection from abuse, ye nations', Fox News reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

System von Demut und Demütigung

DEUTSCHLAND
Humanistischer Pressedienst

(hpd) In der Debatte über Kinder, die in kirchlichen Erziehungsanstalten aufwuchsen, steht der sexuelle Missbrauch im Vordergrund. Ein soeben erschienener Sammelband zeigt, dass bereits der Alltag in solchen Einrichtungen tiefe Spuren bei den Kindern hinterließ. Rolf Cantzen hat darin ganz unterschiedliche Geschichten von Schülern, die in katholischen Internaten waren, zusammengestellt.

Die Geschichten gewähren Einblick in eine Welt, in der Gewalt, Willkür und Demütigung vorherrschten. Sie verstören und helfen gleichzeitig zu verstehen, warum die katholische Kirche bis heute nicht in der Lage ist, sich zu ihrer Verantwortung für die physische und psychische Misshandlung der Schüler zu bekennen. hpd sprach mit Herausgeber Rolf Cantzen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Marcus Japke - Radiomoderator wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen einer Minderjährigen in Untersuchungshaft

DEUTSCHLAND
Querdenker

Der Katholizismus und Islamismus und der Missbrauch mit 12jährigen Kindern

Was in Deutschland verboten ist und unter Strafe gestellt, wird dem prominenten Radio-Moderator Marcus Japke vorgeworfen. Er soll ein 12jähriges Mädchen sexuell missbraucht haben. Hätte der Moderator das Kind im Vatikan oder in Saudi-Arabien sexuell missbraucht, würde er vermutlich straffrei bleiben. Es verwundert, warum der Vatikan, gerade wenn die Kirche weltweit schon seit langem von Missbrauchsfällen gegen Kinder geplagt ist, nicht das Schutzalter erhöht hat, wie das Italien auch schon längst gemacht hat. Das wäre zumindest eine symbolische Geste gewesen. Es nicht zu machen, kann auch als eine symbolische Geste verstanden werden. Vermutlich ist das Schutzalter aus Unaufmerksamkeit beibehalten worden, allerdings meint etwa der Wiener Rechtsprofessor Manfred Nowak, der Internationalen Menschenrechtsschutz lehrt und für die Vereinten Nationen als Sonderberichterstatter tätig ist, dass der Vatikan das Schutzalter absichtlich so niedrig gehalten habe. Offenbar sieht er den Katholizismus als dafür verantwortlich. Malta, Spanien und der Vatikan seien, so stellte die Welt seine Aussage dar, seien stärker als andere Länder katholisch geprägt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Missbrauchs-Beratung ringt um Aufmerksamkeit

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Rheinpfalz

Berlin (dapd). Tausende Anrufe gingen ein, doch es werden immer weniger: Deutschlands zentrale Anlaufstelle für Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs hat innerhalb von zwei Jahren rund 27.500 Hilferufe bekommen. Doch der Ansturm habe wegen mangelnder Werbung in den vergangenen Monaten stark abgenommen, sagte eine Sprecherin des Unabhängigen Beauftragten für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs, Johannes-Wilhelm Rörig. Täglich klingelt etwa zehn Mal das Telefon. Während der Kampagne zum Start des Angebots seien bis zu 200 Anrufe pro Tag eingegangen.

Von den 27.500 Kontaktversuchen seit Eröffnung der Anlaufstelle im Mai 2010 waren alleine 24.000 Anrufe. 3.500 Briefe sendeten Missbrauchsopfer, Angehörige oder Erzieher und Lehrer an Rörig. Therapeuten und Sozialpädagogen nehmen sie entgegen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Bakersfield woman talks about alleged sexual abuse 20 years later

BAKERSFIELD (CA)
KGET

[with video]

A Bakersfield woman who claims she was molested by her youth minister more than 20 years ago has come forward, urging others who may have been molested to do the same.

Jessica Bohman, 29, is suing both her alleged assailant as well as the church she attended, Dayspring Christian Fellowship in central Bakersfield. She says the church didn’t do anything after it was made aware of the alleged molestation.

The International Four Square organization, a Pentecostal Christian group affiliated with Dayspring Church, is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Bohman was only 4 years old when she claims family friend and youth minister Damon Young began sexually abusing her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Defense rests in clergy abuse trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian
Inquirer Staff Writers

The defense in the clergy sex-abuse trial rested Tuesday after Msgr. William J. Lynn ended three days' contentious testimony the way he began - asserting he had done his best to protect children but had lacked the power to do more.

"I did much more than had been done before I got there," Lynn said, later adding: "I have many victims that told me I helped them."

After the former Archdiocese of Philadelphia clergy secretary left the witness stand, the landmark trial moved briskly toward a conclusion.

Lawyers for Lynn and his codefendant, the Rev. James J. Brennan, called their final witnesses - friends, relatives, parishioners, priests, and nuns who praised the defendants as law-abiding citizens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Big Mo Shifting As Defense Rests Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

As the defense rested its case Tuesday in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse trial, the momentum in the courtroom appeared to be shifting. The question is whether it had moved enough to matter.

A month ago, the prosecution appeared so far out in the lead, they were paring down witness lists, and playing it safe, as they strove to protect a big fourth-quarter lead. Sure there were problems with the Father James J. Brennan side of the case, but the evidence against Msgr. William J. Lynn seemed stacked so high the only question was when the monsignor went down, would that giant sucking sound take Father Brennan along with him.

But then Judge M. Teresa Sarmina, who had been pro-prosecution all the way, suddenly whacked two conspiracy charges off the prosecution's case. Next the defense stole the prosecution's alleged smoking gun -- that list of 35 abuser priests drawn up by Lynn and ordered shredded by Cardinal Bevilacqua -- and used that same evidence to show that Lynn may have been just a patsy.

Yesterday, the last shoe to drop was Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington's anti-climactic finish to his three-day cross-examination of Msgr. Lynn, a performance that was toned-down from the previous fireworks. By the time Blessington limped to the finish, it sure seemed like the prosecutor had run out of steam. That's the risk you take when you stretch a cross over three days, but maybe the prosecution is still so far ahead, it won't matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Lawsuit filed against church, youth minister in alleged

CALIFORNIA
Bakersfield.com

An alleged case of sexual abuse more than 20 years old has been resurrected by the filing of a lawsuit in Kern County Superior Court.

Plaintiff Jessica Prater Bohman went public Tuesday as she stood outside the courthouse with her attorney and relatives to announce the lawsuit and discuss what she said happened to her when she was 4 years old.

The lawsuit says Bohman, now 29, was molested by a youth minister at Bakersfield Dayspring Foursquare Church from 1987 to 1990. The lawsuit identifies Damon Young, who was 15 when the abuse first began, as the minister who assaulted her.

Investigative reports filed by Bakersfield police and provided by Bohman's attorney say Young admitted in 2010 to molesting Bohman and two other girls. According to Bohman, the case went to juvenile court but Young could not be held criminally liable because the statute of limitations had expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Bishop Cupich: A Letter to Parishioners

WASHINGTON
Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane

May 27, 2012

Pentecost, 2012

Dear Parishioners:

In October, 2010, I informed you that the Diocese of Spokane had entered a period of mediation to address demands resulting from claims of sexual abuse by clergy in past years, but which were made after the 2007 bankruptcy settlement’s Plan of Reorganization. That Plan, in addition to establishing a multi-million fund to compensate victim survivors, also provided for the possibility of claims to be made after the bar date of March 2007, for a period of nine years, or until 2016. At that time, one million dollars were set aside to cover these “future claims.” Twenty-two parishes in Spokane County stepped forward on behalf of all the parishes in the Diocese to offer their parish properties as collateral to assure that awards exceeding this one million dollar amount would be paid. Parishioners were advised that the risk of foreclosure was small, given that the number of future claims in all likelihood would not be significant.

As I noted in my letter to you shortly after I arrived in the fall of 2010, the Trustee, appointed to oversee the bankruptcy plan, informed me that the one million dollar fund would soon be exhausted with the payment of several future claims awards and that we would need to recapitalize the future claims fund immediately or face foreclosure on parish and school properties to satisfy this obligation. The Diocese did not have the funds available, which meant foreclosure action was imminent. The situation was deteriorating even more so at this time, since the high costs of legal efforts beginning in 2009 to challenge some of the future claims awards were draining what little resources we needed to operate and, as reported by the media, these challenges had reached a stalemate. We also were informed that more future claims would in all likelihood be accepted, thus placing the very survivability of the Catholic Church in Eastern Washington as we know it into serious question.

Taking all of this into consideration, I sought the assistance of a new team of competent individuals to take a fresh look at things and to put together a strategy to mediate this impasse and bring some order to the series of events that were cascading out of control. With their advice, I engaged the services of Federal Judge Michael Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon to serve as mediator. Once we secured the agreement of all parties, the bankruptcy court approved the mediation arrangement, which included the suspension of all appeals and court actions.

We identified four goals which we needed to achieve, if the mediation were to be successful.

1. Remove the immediate threat of foreclosure on parishes. I was convinced that the seizure of parish properties was not only a matter of losing facilities and material assets, but it also involved the displacement of faith communities and the diminishment of our Catholic school system. Thus, everything should be done to avoid that scenario;
2. Reduce our legal fees, which were averaging nearly a quarter of a million dollars annually in the three years following the bankruptcy settlement;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Parishes giving $1.5 million toward settling sex cases

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

John Stucke
The Spokesman-Review

Catholic parishes are contributing $1.5 million toward a broad legal settlement expected to help the church resolve clergy sex abuse claims and avoid the foreclosure of churches and schools.

It’s the second settlement in five years that has been billed as ending the bankruptcy of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, which has struggled with more than a decade of scandal.

A three-page letter written by Bishop Blase Cupich and distributed to parishioners on Sunday sought to assure churchgoers that the threat of foreclosure had passed. The $1.5 million was far less than initially feared to clear up lingering bankruptcy issues – most notably more than two dozen unresolved claims filed by former Morning Star Boys’ Ranch residents who said they were abused.

Cupich said now that the cases have been settled, he will review the accusations of abuse against Morning Star’s longtime director, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, and at the same time refer the matters to a diocesan board that vets such allegations to determine whether they are credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Defense Rests In Clergy Abuse Trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The defense has rested in the clergy sexual abuse case, and closing arguments are expected tomorrow. The defense rested yesterday after presenting a flurry of character witnesses on behalf of monsignor William Lynn and father James Brennan.

Monsignor William Lynn, charged with endangering children by allowing dangerous priests to remain in ministry, and Father James Brennan, who is charged with sexually assaulting a teen, both have pleaded not guilty.

And yesterday a series of witnesses, family and friends, priests and nuns, parishioners and former students, told the jury Monsignor Lynn and Brennan have excellent reputations. Earlier in the day, Lynn completed his testimony, conceding diagnosed pedophile priests and other priests he had found guilty of sexual abuse of minors remained in ministry. One, Edward Avery, later sexually assaulted another teen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

May 29, 2012

Priest can't fulfill bail conditions

AUSTRALIA
Northern District Times

30 May 12 @ 08:15am by Staff Writer

FINIAN James Egan, 77, arrived at Ryde Court last Wednesday in a black BMW with a disability parking permit and was assisted by two young women, AAP reported.

He was charged on May 1 with 17 sexual offences that allegedly occurred between 1972 and 1987 while Egan was serving as a priest in parishes in Sydney and on the NSW Central Coast.

The charges relate to one boy and three girls.

The court was told that Egan is suffering from an unspecified medical condition that will prevent him satisfying one of his bail conditions to report weekly to Ryde police station.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

‘Nothing official’ on church mergers Phoenixville priest claims

PENNSYLVANIA
The Mercury

By Frank Otto
fotto@pottsmerc.com
Posted: 05/29/12 06:21 pm

PHOENIXVILLE — After a local priest e-mailed parishioners saying he was informed that Sacred Heart and Holy Trinity parishes would close, a Philadelphia archdiocese spokesman said there is no official word on the parishes’ statuses.

In an e-mail sent to some parishioners around noon Tuesday, the Rev. Michael Rzonca said Sacred Heart would merge with the St. Ann parish and Holy Trinity would merge with St. Mary of the Assumption.

“I received a call from (the Rev. Monsignor) Arthur Rodgers informing me that I will be leaving the pastorate of Sacred Heart and Holy Trinity parishes, effective June 30, 2012,” Rzonca, the pastor of both Sacred Heart and Holy Trinity, wrote. “Holy Trinity will be merged with St. Mary’s and Sacred Heart will be merged with St. Ann’s.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

A Message regarding Fr. Dan

SEWICKLEY (PA)
St. James Parish

[with copy of the letter from Bishop Zubik]

A note from the Regional Vicar:

Dear parishioners of Saint James,

It is easy to understand the great emotion you are experiencing at this time. Having known Father Valentine for more than thirty years, I consider him to be one of our finest priests who has many gifts, including being a good leader.

During this interim time I promise my prayers for Father and for the parish. As the temporary administrator my role is to see that parish sacramental life continues uninterrupted. For those who have scheduled weddings, please know these will be celebrated, albeit with a substitute priest. The same is true for baptisms and for any funerals that may take place.

Please be patient and understanding. Given the decreasing numbers of priests available we may have to rely on those who are retired for assistance. Because of my other responsibilities, it is not possible for me to spend many hours at the parish, but I do plan to be present throughout the coming week(s) as necessary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 PM

Sewickley priest takes leave after accusations made against him

PENNSYLVANIA
Times Online

By Jenny Wagner jwagner@timesonline.com

SEWICKLEY -- A Sewickley priest has taken a leave of absence from his ministry while the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office investigates an allegation made against him, Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese officials said Tuesday.

The Rev. Daniel A. Valentine, pastor of St. James Catholic Church on Walnut Street, began his leave May 19 after officials received a complaint involving Facebook posts Valentine allegedly made to a minor, according to the Rev. Ron Lengwin, diocese spokesman.

Lengwin said as per church policies, the complaint was turned over to the district attorney’s office.

Bishop David Zubik said in a letter to parishioners posted on the church's website that he has instructed diocese staff to perform a forensic audit on the church's computers and Valentine's personal computer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Vatican says leaks violated conscience of faithful

VATICAN CITY
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By NICOLE WINFIELD
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Tuesday sought to put the widening scandal over leaked documents into a very different light, saying the stolen papers didn't just concern matters of internal church governance but represented the thoughts of people who in writing to the pope believed they were essentially speaking before God.

As a result, Pope Benedict XVI feels particularly pained over the leaks and wants to get to the bottom of the scandal to heal the breach and re-establish a sense of trust among the faithful, according to the Vatican's undersecretary of state, Archbishop Angelo Becciu.

"I consider the publication of stolen letters to be an unprecedentedly grave immoral act," Becciu told the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. "It's not just that the pope's papers were stolen, but that people who turned to him as the vicar of Christ have had their consciences violated."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Catholics fear Vatican’s “Vatileaks” scandal will harm their Church

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Silvia Aloisi

May 29, 2012

Catholic clerics and pilgrims visiting St Peter’s basilica on Tuesday expressed shock over a scandal that has shaken the Vatican and led to the arrest of the pope’s butler, fearing it would hurt both the pontiff and the Church.

“It’s awful and very sad that something like that can happen right at the heart of the Vatican,” said David Kaberia, a priest from Meru in Kenya, standing under the sun in a queue snaking through half of St Peter’s Square to tour one of the holiest sites of Roman Catholicism.

“This is an inside job by greedy people and I think it will inevitably affect the Church worldwide because this is the centre of the Church’s power,” he told Reuters.

The scandal exploded last week when, within a few days, the head of the Vatican’s own bank was sacked, the pope’s butler was arrested over leaks of sensitive documents and a book was published alleging conspiracies among cardinals and corruption in the Church’s financial dealings with Italian business.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 PM

Philadelphia priest testifies he always put interests of children first

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Pilot

By Matthew Gambino

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- Msgr. William J. Lynn took the witness stand in his own defense May 23 and told jurors that "in my heart" he put the interests of children first as he handled allegations of sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The former secretary for clergy of the Philadelphia Archdiocese faces two counts of endangering the welfare of children by recommending for assignment some priests accused of sexual misconduct with children.

"I did my best to ensure no child got hurt," he said in testimony at the trial.

The charges are in connection to alleged sexual misconduct by a current priest, Father James J. Brennan, and sexual assault by a former priest, Edward V. Avery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 PM

Pope promotes Bishop Richard Malone to Buffalo Diocese; SNAP responds

PORTLAND (ME)/BUFFALO (NY)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on May 29, 2012

Today, the Pope promoted Maine Bishop Richard Malone to head the Buffalo Diocese. As is so often the case, the church hierarchy is trading one callous official for another.

It’s important to remember that Malone worked under the disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston.

In 2010, it was disclosed that Malone was keeping secret the identity of seven recently accused Maine predator priests. We believe his secrecy violates his promises and the US bishops abuse policy. Even worse, he’s violating basic common sense and needlessly jeopardizing the safety of vulnerable children in Maine.

In 2008, Malone put a Bangor priest (Fr. Paul Coughlin) back into ministry even though that priest let a convicted sex offender live with him in a parish. (Later, Malone reversed himself in response to a public outcry.)On the other hand, in 2007, Malone belatedly and begrudgingly made public a partial list of credibly accused predator priests in Maine. However, he kept that list up only a few years. And in 2009, he removed public tributes on church property to one credibly accused predator priest (Fr. Joseph McGowan).

Bishop Kmiec has repeatedly covered up abuse. Less than three months ago, it was revealed that a priest (Fr. David W. Bialkowski) who Kmiec claimed had been put on medical leave was actually suspended due to credible reports of abuse. Prior to that case, Kmiec had given sanctuary to a priest that had been abusing boys in Pennsylvania. Kmiec has also repeatedly refused requests to make available on his website a list of all credibly accused priests within his diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

SNAP blasts promotion of Fargo Bishop

FARGO (ND)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on May 29, 2012

Today, the Vatican has announced that the bishop of the Diocese of Fargo, ND will be promoted to fill the role of archbishop in the Diocese of Denver which has been vacant since Archbishop Charles Chaput moved to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

For now-Archbishop Samuel Aquila, this is a homecoming in many ways. We hope that, as he returns to Denver and takes over the archdiocese, he works diligently and tirelessly to help end the clergy sex abuse and cover-up crisis. However, in the past Aquila has failed to act responsibly to protect kids.

In 2009, it was revealed that three monsignors, after receiving a credible accusation of abuse, refused to share the information with anyone outside the diocesan hierarchy. The diocese first heard the accusation against Fr. Gregory Patejko in 1994, and paid a settlement to the Patejko’s victim that same year. Yet it wasn’t until 15 years later that the allegation was made public, and even then only because the victim grew tired of the diocese’s silence and went to the media himself.

Aquila’s silence in this matter only served to help the Diocese of Fargo avoid public embarrassment, and actually worked against victims by allowing others who may have been abused by Patejko to continue suffering in silence. We don’t know how many other allegations may have been kept under wraps in the same way, but we suspect that this was not the only case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:44 PM

KC bishop promotes “troubling” priest; SNAP responds

KANSAS CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on May 29, 2012

On Friday, in his diocesan newspaper Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn quietly disclosed his promotion of Fr. Patrick Rush, a priest who is closely connected with a number of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. For years, he was the second-in-command of the diocese. He has been named as a defendant, because of that role, in a number of child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits.

If Finn keeps picking and promoting long-time church insiders and those with close ties church insiders, the chances for change are greatly reduced.

As vicar general, in 2002, Rush publicly defended the decision to keep Fr. Thomas Ward in parish ministry, despite the fact that the diocese paid a settlement to his accuser.

Rush admitted that parishioners had not been officially informed by the diocese of the allegations against Ward.

That same year, Rush refused to identify four priests who had been accused of molesting kids.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Aquila describes appointment as Denver archbishop 'overwhelming'

DENVER (CO)
Grand Forks Herald

DENVER – In a homecoming of sorts, Fargo Bishop Samuel J. Aquila has been named the new archbishop of the Denver archdiocese.

Aquila, 61, was ordained in Denver in 1976, and worked in several Colorado parishes there until coming to Fargo 11 years ago. He's been the bishop of the Diocese of Fargo since 2002.

He'll remain in Fargo until shortly before he is installed in Denver on July 18.

At a news conference in Denver Tuesday, Aquila said he learned of the appointment last week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Another Culture Warrior?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Michael Sean Winters on May. 29, 2012 Distinctly Catholic

I do not want to judge the appointment of Bishop Samuel Aquila based on a single, unfortunate statement he made in the past. Nonetheless, regular readers may recall this post of mine when Bishop Aquila rolled out the Nazi analogy.

I was especially pleased to note then, as I note now, that while I do not think the bishops are engaged in a war against Obama, comments like Aquila's make it hard not to believe that the White House thinks negotiating with people who compare the president's actions to nazis and communists are not people with whom it is worthwhile to negotiate. Yes, the White House has made a mess of the HHS mandate and nothing anyone else has said excuses that mess.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

New Bishop For Buffalo Introduced At News Conference

BUFFALO (NY)
WKBW

[with video]

By WKBW News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - The Diocese of Buffalo announced Tuesday morning that the Most Reverend Richard Malone would be taking over for Bishop Edward Kmiec.

"My profound gratitude to our Holy Father Benedict XVI for his trust in me, in appointing me to oversee this vibrancy of Buffalo," Most Reverend Richard Malone said.

Malone will be installed as the 14th Bishop of Buffalo at St. Joseph's Cathedral on August 10th. He comes to Buffalo from Portland, Maine where he served as Bishop since 2004. He said one of the biggest issues he will face is the economic challenge here in Western New York. He said he has experience.

"I come from a state that is also beautiful, but very challenged economically. We have lost a lot of industries there. That is why we put a lot of emphasis on Catholic Charities to reach out to people who need us," Malone said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 PM

Pope transfers Portland bishop to Buffalo

MAINE
The Forecaster

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling

PORTLAND — The pope has sent Maine's highest-ranking Catholic, Bishop Richard J. Malone, to the Diocese of Buffalo.

The move will result in an opening that could last for up to a year, officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland said Tuesday.

The decision, made by Pope Benedict XVI a week ago, was announced publicly Tuesday morning. Malone said that, in retrospect, he saw a sign from God that presaged the decision.

"Sometimes, subtle indications of God's plan for us only become apparent in hindsight," Malone said during a teleconference from Buffalo. "The day before the archbishop called me, I was up in northern Maine celebrating confirmation liturgies. ... One of the folks up there advised us to get off the interstate and take a more rural route. ... He said, 'If you're really lucky, you'll see a herd of buffalo.' And there they were, 10 buffaloes grazing in a field."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

Priest's sex-abuse trial delayed pending December hearing

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

A Roman Catholic priest who had been scheduled for trial on sexual-abuse charges on Tuesday has been granted at least seven more months before his next court appearance.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perry on Tuesday scheduled a Dec. 17 status review for the Rev. James R. Schook.

Schook, 64, was indicted in 2011 on seven felony counts of sodomy based on allegations that he sexually abused two boys between 1971 and 1975. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Former Abbot of Kilnacrott says he'll co-operate with any abuse enquiries

IRELAND
Northern Sound

May 29 2012

Former Abbot of Kilnacrott Kevin Smith says he will co-operate with any criminal or international enquiry into cases involving victims of abuse.

It comes as Fr Smith, who was the Abbott of Kilnacrott when paedophile priest Brendan Smith was based there, has issued an apology to abuse victims.

In a statement to Northern Sound News, Fr Smith has promised to be open and give all information to either or both criminal or international bodies who may lead an investigation.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Full text of apology from Former Abbot of Kilnacrott Fr Kevin Smith

IRELAND
Northern Sound

STATEMENT FROM ABBOT KEVIN A. SMITH, O.PRAEM

HOLY TRINITY ABBEY, KILNACROTT, BALLYJAMESDUFF, CO. CAVAN

Having had some time in prayer and reflection in Medugorje on the past when I was Abbot and Superior of Holy Trinity Abbey, Kilnacrott, Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, I wish to acknowledge and apologise to all those who were abused in any way, their family, friends and fellow priests for mistakes which happened within the Church and various Institutions from August 1969 – March 1995 (when I retired).

I thank the present Prior and Superior for the counselling help being made available through “Towards Healing” freephone 1800 303 416 (ROI) / 08000 963315 (NI/UK).

However, I believe that the real permanent healing comes from inviting Jesus Christ, (The greatest Healer of all) into our lives and handing over to him all our hurts. There has been a call for a “criminal” investigation and/or “International” enquiry – I promise that I would be open to and give all information to either or both of those bodies – The Truth will set us all free.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Former abbot apologies to Smyth's victims

IRELAND
The Anglo-Celt

Paul Neilan

A former abbot at Kilnacrott has finally issued an apology to the victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by paedophile priest Fr Brendan Smyth.

In a statement issued yesterday, Fr Kevin Smith said: "Having had some time in prayer and reflection in Medugorje on the past when I was Abbot and Superior of Holy Trinity Abbey, Kilnacrott, Ballyjamesduff, Co Cavan, I wish to acknowledge and apologise to all those who were abused in any way, their family, friends and fellow priests for mistakes which happened within the Church and various Institutions from August 1969 - March 1995, when I retired.

"I thank the present Prior and Superior for the counselling help being made available through "Towards Healing" (freephone 1800 303 416).

"However, I believe that the real permanent healing comes from inviting Jesus Christ, The greatest Healer of all, into our lives and handing over to him all our hurts. There has been a call for a criminal investigation and or international enquiry - I promise that I would be open to and give all information to either or both of those bodies. The Truth will set us all free.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Vatican scandals lift lid on secret power struggle

VATICAN CITY
CNN

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) – Bad luck comes in threes, even for the pope.

The past week has seen his butler arrested, accused of leaking secret papers from the papal apartment; the head of his bank sacked for incompetence; and a demonstration on his front doorstep by protesters demanding that he reveal what he knows about Italy's most famous missing-person case.

It's bad PR for the Vatican, but it may be more than that, experts say. It could affect who becomes the next pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Vatican: Pope Benedict XVI unafraid of leaks probe widening with butler Paolo Gabriele's cooperation

VATICAN CITY
CBS News

(AP) VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI isn't afraid about what might emerge in the widening investigation into leaked documents and is encouraging prosecutors and a fact-finding commission to get to the truth over one of the most serious Holy See scandals in recent history, the Vatican spokesman said Tuesday.

Spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Benedict was pained by the leaks and that he, Lombardi, felt "personally violated," even though none of the spokesman's correspondence had filtered out to Italian media or into a recent book of leaked documents that have laid bare the infighting, intrigue and petty squabbles that have plagued the highest echelons of the Catholic Church's governance.

The so-called "Vatileaks" scandal has tormented the Vatican for months and represents one of the greatest breaches of trust and security for the pope in recent memory. Benedict's personal butler has been arrested, accused of theft, after documents he had no business having were found in his Vatican City apartment. Few think the butler acted alone, and the investigation is continuing on three separate tracks.

Monsignor Says He’s Sorry But Blameless For Teen’s Abuse By Pedophile Priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monsignor William Lynn, charged with endangered children by allowing dangerous priests to remain in ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, today told the jury he is sorry for the abuse suffered by one boy during Lynn’s watch as secretary for clergy.

Lynn has conceded there were a number of priests who remained in ministry, working as pastors and assistant pastors — some who had been diagnosed as pedophiles and others whom he had determined were guilty of sexual abuse of minors — including one who has since admitted he sexually assaulted another teen.

That defrocked priest, Edward Avery, pleaded guilty before the start of this trial and is serving a sentence of up to five years (see related story).

Lynn has told the jury he is sorry for the abuse suffered by the teen at the hands of Avery, but he accepted no blame.
Lynn maintains he was powerless to change the church’s practices for dealing with predator priests. As he put it at one point, he was “not the cardinal archbishop of Philadelphia.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Was Lynn's testimony worth the gamble?

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

May 29, 2012
By Elizabeth Fiedler

Today Monsignor William Lynn took the stand in his own defense - for the third day. Lynn, a former high-ranking official in the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese, is facing charges for failing to prevent other priests from sexually abusing children. For defendants in criminal cases the impulse to take the stand in their own defense, can be strong. But while they can help themselves on the stand, but they also can do damage.

It's a common scene in TV courtroom dramas: the defendant defiantly takes the stand to refute the prosecutor's accusations. Instead the character ends up in a teary mess confessing to the crime or exposing a secret that ID's the real criminal.

Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Dennis Cogan represented former State Senator Vince Fumo who was convicted of corruption. Cogan said there's always a risk in putting a client on the stand.

"You don't want him to perform, you don't want the client on the witness stand to be making the arguments that the lawyer should be making later on," said Cogan. "You have to go over the methods and manner of presentation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Monsignor: 'I didn't have the power to do anything'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Msgr. William J. Lynn asserted again Tuesday that he did more than his predecessors at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to curb or stop sexual abuse by priests, but that he had little choice but to follow directives of his bosses and medical professionals.

"I did much more than had been done before I got there," Lynn insisted from the witness stand, later adding: "I have many victims that told me I helped them."

He spoke as Assistant Philadelphia District Attorney Patrick Blessington opened a third-day of cross-examination, pressing Lynn to explain why he didn’t remove priests who had been accused of sexual misconduct. The testimony resumed after Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina denied a bid by the lawyers for Lynn and his codefendant, the Rev. James J. Brennan, to dismiss a charge against each.

Blessington and Lynn picked up largely where they left off Thursday, with the prosecutor firing questions and accusations at the former clergy secretary and Lynn denying any wrongdoing. Calling Lynn "the eyes and the ears" of Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua on sexual abuse complaints and investigation between 1992 and 2004, Blessington asked Lynn why he allowed the Rev. Robert Brennan to stay at a parish in 1993 after learning that two seventh-grade boys alleged that the priest had groped or caressed them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 PM

Former LCWR leader gives take on Vatican order

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

May. 29, 2012
By Joshua J. McElwee

Almost two months later, clarity is still elusive.

Across the country, women religious are still trying to make sense of the Vatican's latest move -- an April order to the organization representing the large majority of their ranks, telling the group to revise and place itself under the control of an archbishop.

For the first time since announcement of the sweeping order, the leadership of that group -- known as the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) -- meets this week to discuss what to do next.

While the group has not given many details about the expected contents of the meeting -- scheduled for Tuesday through Friday -- an April release said the national board of the group will meet in an "atmosphere of prayer, contemplation and dialogue" and that it "plans to move slowly, not rushing to judgment."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Pa. monsignor apologizes for abuse victim's ordeal

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Associated Press

By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic official is wrapping up three grueling days of testimony in his Philadelphia clergy-abuse trial.

Monsignor William Lynn says he did everything within his power to get accused priests out of parishes and into treatment.

He admits it wasn't enough for one victim who was sexually assaulted by the Rev. Edward Avery — years after complaints about Avery had reached the archdiocese. Lynn says he's sorry for that.

Avery is in prison after pleading guilty to the 1999 assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:41 PM

U.S. roots for Viganò, the archbishop who opposes corruption

UNITED STATES
Vatican Insider

He sent two letters to the Pope denouncing corruption

Paolo Mastrolilli
New York correspondent

“He is a man who is not afraid to speak the truth and not afraid to point out areas that need reform in the church.” These were the words of praise of new cardinal Timothy Dolan for the Nuncio to the United States Carlo Maria Viganò, published in the New York Times last February. This may help understand how the crisis in the Vatican is viewed abroad and could perhaps shed light on how the former secretary general of the Governorate is feeling. According to the Americans, Viganò is a reformer who was able to foresee the storm ahead. He can therefore feel redeemed, even if not happy, for the developments of the last few weeks and does not need to say anything more, because events seem to follow his predictions.

At the beginning of last year Viganò, who was mainly in charge of the financial management of the Vatican City State wrote two letters to the Pope, denouncing instances of corruption. In October he was removed and appointed Nuncio to the U.S.. When his letters were published, the Vatican leadership issued a statement dismissing his claims.

In his new home in Massachusetts Avenue, Viganò has chosen to keep to himself. But after being somewhat shy at the beginning, he gained confidence in his new role of managing diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the United States, between the American bishops and Rome and also in his very delicate task of pointing out suitable candidates for Episcopal Sees. The trust he has been shown is the result of the good relations he has built with American bishops, who have urged him on many occasions to become the leader of a worldwide reform of the Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:56 PM

The Secretariat of mysteries and the shadows of accomplices

“Gabriele could not have done this alone”

Marco Tosatti
Vatican City

The arrest of Paolo Gabriele, Benedict XVI’s butler, meant that for a brief time all those working in the Pope home (the Vatican Loggias which sport the work of the famous master painter Raphael) could breathe a sigh of relief. This is the place where the Secretariat of State, the Pope’s administrative office, is and where all documents read by Benedict XVI end up. Once a document is ready, Mgr. Georg passes it on to the appropriate office to be archived. So when Italian television program Gli Intoccabili (The Untouchables) presented by journalist, Gianluigi Nuzzi, showed a confidential note that the director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Lombardi, had sent to the papal apartments (to Mgr. Georg) summarizing the ‘Orlandi’ case, many in the Vatican thought that it was obviously impossible for the documents to have been leaked from the press office or papal apartments. Therefore the culprit could only be found in the Secretariat of State.

This theory seemed even more convincing when, after the first bouts of investigation, the Vatican Gendarmerie came to a standstill. Sources inside the Vatican surprisingly blamed the slowing down in the investigation on those who should have actually pushed it forward, including the Substitute to the Secretary of State, Giovanni Angelo Becciu. The setback lasted a few weeks, then under pressure from the public opinion and due to further developments, a month ago, a committee of cardinals was formed, led by the energetic cardinal Julian Herranz. The situation then progressed, as we know.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:53 PM

“This is worse than the Church paedophilia scandal”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The Curia is in a state of panic as rumours circulate about camera phones potentially being banned in the Vatican

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

“The atmosphere is poisonous, heavy. Some claim that in the future we won’t be able to take mobile phones with inbuilt cameras into the Vatican.” The ban on camera phones is just a rumour that has been circulating around the Secretariat of State in the last few days, which have been the most difficult in the Vatican in recent years. “Somehow this is even worse than the storm caused by the Church paedophilia scandal,” said a priest who entered the great gate of Porta Angelica with brisk fearful steps.

Many outside the Vatican doubt the guilt of Paolo Gabriele, the Pope’s butler and no one seems to think he could have master-minded the leak of documents published in journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi’s book. We do not know the extent of his involvement yet. If the inquiry remains at this level, the doubts will inevitably grow. The net of moles, which allegedly includes a number of people, struck again, giving once more the same motives that had been put forward by the famous investigative reporter in the pages of “Sua santità” (His Holiness). The leak of Benedict XVI’s confidential papers could apparently have been an act to help the Pope. Few believe this to be true, mostly because the Vatileaks scandal has managed to besmirch the Holy See as a whole and its image is now in tatters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:49 PM

Vatican's assessment of LCWR about fear, not doctrine

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

May. 29, 2012
By Fran Ferder

COMMENTARY

The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith's April 18 doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious is not about doctrine. It is not primarily about protecting the faith or ensuring an ecclesiology of communion, no matter how many times these terms are woven through the report. It is fundamentally about fear -- fear of the loss of power -- and the willful use of dominative control to defend that power.

The abundance of religious themes and language do not mask this punitive effort to shore up the crumbling authority of hierarchical leaders. Nor does the document hide the anger that roils beneath the protestations of gratitude and concern. The final report of the LCWR assessment reveals a desperate attempt on the part of some fearful and angry church leaders to protect their turf -- to maintain an all-male church leadership, to keep women and laypeople under their authority, and to shield the homophobic-homosexual subculture in the leadership of the Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Anderson says Vatican bank fired president to increase transparency

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Carl A. Anderson, head of the U.S.-based Knights of Columbus and secretary of the Vatican bank's board of supervisors, said a commitment to promoting transparency led the board to fire Ettore Gotti Tedeschi as bank president.

The board unanimously passed a vote of "no confidence" in Gotti Tedeschi's leadership May 24 during a meeting in which the Italian banker was allowed to speak "for more than 70 minutes," according to a memorandum released by Anderson.

The board of the bank, formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion, issued an unusually blunt statement through the Vatican Press Office May 24, noting that members had repeatedly expressed concern to Gotti Tedeschi about the bank's "governance," but that the "situation has deteriorated further."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Kinder häufiger Opfer sexuellen Missbrauchs

DEUTSCHLAND
Handelsblatt

Berlin. Im vergangenen Jahr sind mehr Kinder sexuell missbraucht worden als noch ein Jahr zuvor. „Über 14.000 Kinder wurden Opfer eines sexuellen Missbrauchs“, sagte der Präsident des Bundeskriminalamts (BKA), Jörg Ziercke, unter Berufung auf die Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik 2011 am Dienstag in Berlin. Dies entspreche einer Zunahme von knapp vier Prozent im Vergleich zu 2010 und sei der höchste Wert der vergangenen drei Jahre, fügte Ziercke hinzu.

Zudem wurde im vergangenen Jahr 146 Kinder in Deutschland getötet. Dies stellt einen Rückgang um rund 20 Prozent da. Rund 80 Prozent der getöteten Jungen und Mädchen (114) waren jünger als sechs Jahre. 63 Kinder wurden dem BKA-Chef zufolge vorsätzlich und 73 fahrlässig getötet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Wie man Vertrauen zerstört

VATIKAN
Die Tagespost

Der Täter war der Butler – Und im Vatikan fragt man sich, warum der Kammerdiener die Papstpapiere missbrauchte. Von Guido Horst

Rom (DT) Ein Pfingstfest und ein Papstgottesdienst auf dem Petersplatz, die ein wenig an das Osterfest in Rom des Jahres 2010 erinnerten: Damals, vor über zwei Jahren, hatten die Enthüllungen von sexuellen Missbräuchen durch Kleriker vor allem in angelsächsischen Medien plötzlich eine scharfe Wende gegen Benedikt XVI. genommen. Opferverbände in den Vereinigten Staaten und ihre Anwälte bauten – mit dem entsprechenden Echo der internationalen Medien – eine gewaltige Druckkulisse auf, die das Osterfest mit dem Papst in Rom zu erdrücken schien.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Kirchenkritik und Verfassungsschutz

DEUTSCHLAND
Humanistischer Pressedienst

STUTTGART. (hpd) Wer gemeint hat, dass der Papstbesuch vorbei sei, der irrt. Das kirchenkritische Geschehen in Freiburg wurde auch vom Verfassungsschutz beobachtet und „Freiburg ohne Papst“ im Verfassungsschutzbericht 2011 genannt. Das ist immerhin wiederum neu, dass Kirchenkritiker als Verfassungsfeinde gelten.

Dazu schreibt Albrecht Ziervogel, der ehemalige Sprecher von FREIBURG OHNE PAPST: „Man reibt sich verwundert die Augen: im neuesten Verfassungsschutzbericht der grün-roten Landesregierung Kretschmann wird das Aktionsbündnis FREIBURG OHNE PAPST (FoP), als „linksextremistisch beeinflußt“ bezeichnet. Das Bündnis hatte sich aus Anlass des letztjährigen Papstbesuchs dessen kritische Begleitung in Freiburg zur Aufgabe gemacht.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:33 PM

„Ein Kleid entwerfen, das passt“

DEUTSCHLAND
KSTA

Seit März ist Stefan Heße Generalvikar des Bischofs von Köln. Mit Joachim Frank und Matthias Pesch sprach er über einen Wandel in den Pfarreien, sprudelnde Kirchensteuer und den Umgang mit dem Missbrauchskandal.

Köln - Herr Generalvikar, zwei Monate stehen Sie auf der Brücke des Tankers „Erzbistum Köln“. Wo könnten wir mit einem empfindlichen Navigationsgerät Kursänderungen wahrnehmen?

STEFAN HESSE: Dafür ist es mir noch zu früh. Bisher war ich nur für ein Segment zuständig. Ich kenne das Generalvikariat ja schon aus meiner früheren Tätigkeit als Personalchef. Jetzt muss ich immer das Ganze im Blick haben. Zurzeit mache ich Antrittsbesuche in meiner neuen Rolle, um die Menschen in den Abteilungen und ihre Aufgaben noch besser kennen zu lernen. Dafür will ich mir bis zum Sommer Zeit lassen, um dann mit den Verantwortlichen zu entscheiden, was wir uns als Schwer-punkte vornehmen. Und ich merke: Die Leute nehmen mich anders wahr – wie ich sie umgekehrt auch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

Irritationen im Bistum Trier

DEUTSCHLAND
Miss BiT

Am 19.03.2012 berichtet der „SPIEGEL“ in seinem Artikel „Scham und Bestürzung“ über die gängige Praxis von Bischof Ackermann als Missbrauchsbeauftragter der DBK, Pädophile und wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs vorbestrafte Priester weiterhin einzusetzen und somit weitere Kinder der Gefahr, sexuell missbraucht zu werden, auszusetzen.

Am 16.04.2012 berichtet der „SPIEGEL“, dass Bischof Ackermann zwei Priester entpflichtet habe. Diese dürften fortan keinen priesterlichen Dienst mehr tun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:26 PM

Is Bishop Finn a BINO?

KANSAS CITY (MO)
dotCommonweal

May 29, 2012

Posted by David Gibson

That would be “Bishop-In-Name-Only.” I ask because NCR’s Joshua McElwee dug into a seemingly boilerplate announcement of “canonical assignments” posted at the newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on Friday afternoon and discovered that Bishop Robert Finn had shifted — apparently — some of his authority to a newly-created “Episcopal Vicar with Special Mandate,” who is Fr. Patrick Rush.

The move was made in anticipation of Bishop Finn’s trial this fall in Jackson County on charges of failing to report one of his priests, Fr. Shawn Ratigan, who was suspected of possessing child pornography and perhaps of abusing children.

Finn has already signed away some of his authority in Clay County (another part of the diocese) on sex abuse and personnel policies in order to avoid trial on similar charges there. (See Nicholas Cafardi’s “A Cherished Accommodation” [subscribers only].) Friday’s announcement also transferred another official tainted by the Ratigan case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Cleveland priest on "What the Nuns’ Story is Really About"

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Alice Popovici on May. 29, 2012 Sisters Under Scrutiny

A reader emailed NCR the following article from the parish bulletin of the Blessed Trinity Catholic Church in Cleveland, Ohio. We're posting it with the permission of the author, Fr. Doug Koesel:

What the Nuns’ Story is Really About

Many of you have asked me to comment on the recent investigation into the US nuns. Here goes. In short, the Vatican has asked for an investigation into the life of religious women in the United States. There is a concern about orthodoxy, feminism and pastoral practice. The problem with the Vatican approach is that it places the nuns squarely on the side of Jesus and the Vatican on the side of tired old men, making a last gasp to save a crumbling kingdom lost long ago for a variety of reasons.

One might say that this investigation is the direct result of the John Paul II papacy. He was suspicious of the power given to the laity after the Second Vatican Council. He disliked the American Catholic Church. Throughout his papacy he strove to wrest collegial power from episcopal conferences and return it to Rome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 PM

UPDATE 1-Tietmeyer denies going for Vatican bank post

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

May 29 (Reuters) - Former Bundesbank head Hans Tietmeyer said on Tuesday he was not a candidate to become the next head of the Vatican bank.

"I know absolutely nothing about this," Tietmeyer, who headed the German central bank from 1993 to 1999, told Reuters. "I have read that but it is completely untrue."

Italian media reported earlier on Tuesday that Tietmeyer was under consideration to succeed Italian Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who left the Vatican bank after a vote of no-confidence on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Judge denies bid to drop charge in Pa. priest case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia judge is denying a Roman Catholic priest's bid to have one of two child-endangerment counts dismissed in his clergy-abuse trial.

Meanwhile, Monsignor William Lynn is back on the witness stand for a third day.

Lynn's lawyers argue the endangerment charge involving the Rev. James Brennan should have been filed by 2001, two years after the victim's complaint.

Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina has rejected the motion, and Lynn is enduring more heated cross-examination.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Pope taps Fargo bishop ...

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

Pope taps Fargo bishop Aquila for new US post in Denver archdiocese; names Buffalo bishop

By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, May 29

VATICAN CITY — The pope has named Monsignor Samuel Aquila as the new archbishop for Denver, Colorado, filling an important U.S. post left vacant after Archbishop Charles Chaput moved to Philadelphia.

The 61-year-old Aquila, currently bishop of Fargo, North Dakota, is returning home in many ways, having studied at Denver’s St. Thomas Seminary and worked in several Colorado parishes following his ordination in 1976.

Also Tuesday, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI had named a new bishop for Buffalo, New York, tapping Monsignor Richard Malone to replace the retiring Bishop Edward Kmiec. Malone is currently bishop of Portland, Maine.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Maine's Roman Catholic bishop moving to Buffalo

BUFFALO (NY)
The Wall Street Journal

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — The Roman Catholic Bishop of Maine has been named to lead the Diocese of Buffalo.

Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday announced that Bishop Richard Malone has been appointed Bishop of the upstate New York diocese.

Malone will be officially installed in his new position on Aug. 10 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Vatican names Samuel J. Aquila Catholic archbishop in Denver

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Post

Posted: 05/29/2012

The Vatican this morning named Fargo, N.D., Bishop Samuel J. Aquila as the fifth archbishop of the Denver Archdiocese.

For Aquila, a conservative bishop cut from the same cloth as his predecessor here, Charles Chaput, it's a homecoming.

Although the 61-year-old Aquila is a native of Burbank, Calif., he was ordained a priest here in 1976 and served in local parish ministry for 11 years.

Aquila held several positions in the Denver Archdiocese in education and liturgy until 1999, when he became the founding rector of St. John Vianney Seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Priest with local ties is sentenced to jail time

CANADA
570 News

Mike McCulloch 570 News
May 29, 2012

A former Catholic priest who served in parishes throughout southern Ontario has been sentenced to 15 months in jail.

James Boudreau served in parishes in Guelph, Kitchener, Hamilton and Burlington.

And has been convicted on one count of sexual assault involving a teenager, dating back to 1984.

Boudreau was also sentenced to six months on a second charge after another person came forward regarding an incident in 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Prosecutors not yet finished with Pa. monsignor

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

May 29, 2012
By Associated Press

A Roman Catholic church official is due back on the stand for a third day today when his child-endangerment trial resumes in Philadelphia.

Monsignor William Lynn was on the stand last week for two days of grueling cross-examination about how he handled abuse complaints.

Prosecutors say Lynn is responsible for the archdiocese's failure to remove suspected predators from ministry, and report them to police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Joy Overcomes Denver's Archbishop-Designate

DENVER (CO)
National Catholic Register

by MARIANNE MEDLIN (CNA/EWTN News)
05/29/2012

DENVER — As Archbishop-designate Samuel Aquila of Fargo, N.D. assumes his role as Denver’s new shepherd, the former Coloradan brings with him a love for the priesthood, a passion for pro-life advocacy and a heart for the youth.

“I never, ever dreamed that I would ever return here,” he said. “And now in the Father’s providential plan and in his love, I’m now the archbishop.”

“It’s amazing,” he said, overcome with emotion.

Archbishop-designate Aquila will be installed as head of the archdiocese on July 18 at Denver’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

State involvement in the Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Justice for Magdalenes

1. The Irish State has accepted that there was abuse in the Magdalene Laundries. The abuse is documented in the report published in 2009 by the Commission established by the State to inquire into child abuse (“the Ryan Report”) – and the abuse is also fully borne out by the survivor testimonies which JFM has collected. Both the Ryan Report and the testimonies recount that the women’s labour in the Magdalene Laundries was forced and wholly unpaid, working conditions were harsh and the women were completely deprived of their liberty and suffered both physical and emotional abuse.

2. However, the State has not yet accepted responsibility for that abuse and nor has it offered any apology or redress to the survivors. The State has repeatedly denied responsibility for the treatment of women and girls in the Magdalene Laundries, distinguishing between the treatment of children in residential homes which were the responsibility of the State (the “Industrial and Reformatory Schools”) and those incarcerated in the Magdalene Laundries, which the State characterizes as private and charitable institutions in which it played no regulatory function.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Bishop Richard Malone Appointed Bishop of Buffalo

PORTLAND (ME)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Most. Rev. Richard J. Malone, Bishop of Portland as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo (New York). The Holy Father’s appointment was announced at 6 a.m. (Eastern) today (May 29, 2012) at the Vatican. The date of Bishop Malone’s installation will be August 10, 2012 at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo.

The Diocese of Buffalo has over 633,000 Catholics (more than three times that of Maine). In the city of Buffalo alone, there are 32 Catholic churches. The diocese has seven Catholic colleges and universities, and 15 Catholic High Schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Holy Father names 14th bishop of Buffalo

BUFFALO (NY)
Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

by Office of Communications

“It is with great joy and happiness to announce that Pope Benedict XVI has accepted my resignation and has appointed the Most. Rev. Richard J. Malone, bishop of Portland, Maine, as the new ordinary for the Diocese of Buffalo,” said Bishop Edward U. Kmiec. “Bishop Malone is a colleague of mine in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and we have been acquainted over the years. He comes to Western New York with tremendous experience and a wonderful reputation for being a caring, pastoral bishop and a true shepherd to his people.”

The Holy Father’s appointment was announced at 6 a.m. (Eastern) today (May 29, 2012) at the Vatican.

Bishop Malone arrived in Buffalo on Monday, May 28. He concelebrated Mass this morning at the bishop’s residence with Bishop Kmiec, diocesan Chancellor Msgr. Paul A. Litwin and Msgr. David G. LiPuma, priest secretary to Bishop Kmiec and diocesan vice chancellor.

Following a 10 a.m. news conference with Bishop Kmiec at the Catholic Center on May 29, Bishop Malone will meet with diocesan staff and then join Bishop Kmiec for visits to St. Joseph Cathedral, Catholic Charities offices on Delaware Ave. and Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna. On Wednesday, May 30, Bishop Malone will return to Maine.

Born March 19, 1946, in Salem, Mass., Bishop Malone, 66, has been bishop of Portland since 2004. Prior to his assignment in Maine, he served as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston upon his episcopal ordination in 2000.

“I am most grateful to our Holy Father for his trust in appointing me bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo. While there is sadness in my heart at leaving the Catholic faithful of Maine, especially the priests, deacons, consecrated religious, seminarians and lay leaders, I look forward with enthusiasm to taking up my responsibility as chief shepherd of the Church of Buffalo. I am very grateful to follow in the footsteps of Bishop Kmiec who is a loving, faithful and generous servant of the Gospel.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 29 May 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland, U.S.A., as bishop of Buffalo (area 16,511, population 1,621,000, Catholics 716,000, priests 425, permanent deacons 127, religious 1,075), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, U.S.A., as archbishop of Denver (area 101.279, population 3,328,000, Catholics 549,325, priests 306, permanent deacons 184, religious 203), U.S.A.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Magdalene lobby group criticises Coalition inaction

IRELAND
The Irish Times

KITTY HOLLAND

THE GOVERNMENT has failed to implement a key recommendation by the UN Committee Against Torture to set up an inquiry into the “inhuman and degrading” treatment of thousands of women and girls in the Magdalene laundries during the last century, a lobby group for the women has said.

The Justice for Magdalenes group submitted its NGO follow-up report in Geneva yesterday, one year after the UN committee recommended the State “institute prompt, independent and thorough investigations into all complaints of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment that were allegedly committed in the Magdalene laundries”.

In appropriate cases, the committee said, the State should “prosecute and punish the perpetrators with penalties commensurate with the gravity of the offences committed, and ensure all victims obtain redress and have an enforceable right to compensation, including the means for as full a rehabilitation as possible”.

While the Justice for Magdalenes group welcomed the establishment of an interdepartmental committee, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, to “clarify State interaction with the Magdalene Laundries”, it said this was inadequate and unnecesary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Magdalene survivors criticise ‘unacceptable’ delay for apology and redress

IRELAND
The Journal

SURVIVORS OF THE Magdalene Laundries have criticised the government for failing to implement the recommendations of a United Nations Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) almost a year ago.

The Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) group, an advocacy group for survivors of the Catholic-run institutions which operated in Ireland between 1922 and 1996, have said in a submission to UNCAT that it is unacceptable that there has not yet been any apology, redress and reparations for survivors.

The Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter, set up an inter-departmental committee, chaired by Senator Martin McAleese, last year in order to establish the facts of State involvement in the Magdalene Laundries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

REFILE-No candidates yet to fill Vatican bank post - source

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

May 29 (Reuters) - The Vatican has not begun to consider who may succeed Italian Ettore Gotti Tedeschi as head of the Vatican bank, a person familiar with the situation said on Tuesday after media reports said former Bundesbank head Hans Tietmeyer was in the frame.

The source, who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity, said there was "no short list, no long list, let alone anybody in pole position" to succeed Tedeschi.

Tedeschi fell victim to no-confidence vote by the bank's board last Thursday.

Italian newspapers reported on Tuesday that Pope Benedict, a German, was was eyeing Tietmeyer, who headed the German central bank from 1993 to 1999, to succeed Tedeschi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Priesters verdeeld over celibaat

NEDERLAND
de Stentor

HILVERSUM - Nederlandse priesters zijn sterk verdeeld over het celibaat. Dat blijkt uit een anonieme enquête van het NCRV-programma Altijd Wat onder 135 priesters, meldt de NOS.

Van de priesters die aan het onderzoek meededen, vindt 40 procent dat het celibaat moet worden afgeschaft. En van die groep vindt bijna een kwart dat de regel van de rooms-katholieke kerk seksueel misbruik in de hand werkt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Vatileaks: Hunt is on to find Vatican moles

VATICAN CITY
Belfast Telegraph

By Michael Day in Italy
Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Vatican has long been said by those who know it to be a nest of vipers. But recently, the poison has been laid bare for everyone to see as leak after embarrassing leak has revealed an institution at war with itself.

Already this year we've read about documents warning of a "death threat" against the Pope, widespread nepotism and corruption, exiled whistle-blowers, gay smear campaigns and embarrassing revelations about the Vatican's tax affairs. Most of the damaging of the "Vatileaks" were revealed by the reporter Gianluigi Nuzzi in a series of TV programmes and now his new book Sua Santità (Your Holiness).

As ever, lumbering several steps behind, the powers that be at the Holy See last month set out to catch the mole or moles behind the leaks – which they refer to as "criminal acts". The Pope's butler has already been nabbed in possession of some of the confidential papers. But few people think he acted alone.

Yesterday, we learnt that an unnamed Italian cardinal is now a suspect. But even if all the leakers are caught, few observers think that there's an end in sight for the PR disasters that have blighted the reign of 85-year-old Pope Benedict XVI. The stately Vatican Insider website, for its part, blamed an intrusive modern media. "Scandals even graver than this (such as the Calvi case) occurred in the Wotyla papacy, but today the media coverage is multiplied," it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

What the #!%*? Did the Pope’s butler do it?

VATICAN CITY
National Post (Canada)

In this occasional feature, the National Post tells you everything you need to know about a complicated issue. Today: Corruption, cronyism, mismanagement and high-level power plays are exposed at the Vatican. A banker has been ousted and the Pope’s butler arrested.

Q: How did this all start?
A: The Vatileaks scandal broke in January when Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi broadcast letters from the former No. 2 Vatican administrator to the Pope in which he begged not to be transferred for having exposed alleged corruption that cost the Holy See millions of euros in higher contract prices. But the whistleblower, Monsignor Carlo Maria Vigano, was moved and is now the Vatican’s ambassador in Washington.

Q: But it didn’t end there?
A: No. At the weekend, Mr. Nuzzi published a book, Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI, in which he released dozens of private letters to Pope Benedict, and other confidential Vatican correspondence and reports, including encrypted cables from Vatican embassies around the world.

Q: And what do they show?
A: A host of things. Some documents showed Vatican officials discussing one of the great unsolved mysteries in Italy, the 1983 disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee. That led to the reopening of a criminal investigation. The book also provides a window into the nexus between Italian banking, media power and the Vatican. In a letter last Christmas, Bruno Vespa, Italy’s most well-known television host, enclosed a cheque for $12,500 to the Pope’s private secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, describing it as “a small sum at the disposal of the pope’s charity,” and asking for a private audience. The director of Italy’s Intesa San Paolo bank, Giovanni Bazoli, sent a $32,000 cheque, “with my most deferential salutations.” Other letters are written in obsequious baroque language, in which everyone — from Jesuits to government officials and Mercedes-Benz directors — seeks favours, recommendations and, most of all, the Pope’s ear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Pope’s butler to co-operate with probe

VATICAN CITY
The Chronicle-Herald (Canada)

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY — One of the Vatican’s biggest scandals in decades widened Monday with the Pope’s butler — arrested for allegedly having confidential documents in his home — agreeing to co-operate with investigators, his lawyer said Monday.

Paolo Gabriele’s pledge to co-operate with Vatican magistrates raises the spectre that high-ranking prelates may soon be named in the investigation into leaks of confidential Vatican correspondence that have shed a light on power struggles and intrigue inside the highest levels of the Catholic Church.

Italian media reported Monday a cardinal is suspected of playing a major role in the “Vatileaks” scandal. However, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, denied the reports. He said many Vatican officials were being questioned in the investigation but insisted “there is no cardinal under suspicion.”

He also dismissed as “pure fantasy” a rash of other unsourced reports about the investigation in the Italian media, which have been on a frenzy ever since reports of Gabriele’s detention emerged Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Leaks reveal bitter Vatican power struggle

VATICAN CITY
The Daily Star (Lebanon)

May 29, 2012

By Ella Ide

VATICAN CITY: The flood of secret Vatican documents leaked to the press, enraging the Holy See, aims to oust the Church's powerful number two and maybe to replace the pope himself, experts say.

The so-called "Vatileaks" scandal is a plot within the intrigue-filled Vatican City to unseat Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, seen by some as wielding too much power and not acting in the Church's interests, they say.

"The documents that have been leaked all concern Bertone in one way or another," Marco Politi, Vatican expert for Il Fatto Quotidiano daily, told AFP.

"This is all about damaging him to get a new secretary of state," he added.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Police review dossier over disgraced Bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
Eastbourne Herald

Published on Tuesday 29 May 2012

SUSSEX Police are reviewing a dossier of information into disgraced former Sussex bishop, the Right Reverend Bishop Peter Ball.

The former Bishop of Lewes resigned in 1993 after being cautioned for an act of gross indecency against a teenager.

Now BBC Sussex is reporting that Sussex Police is reviewing files dating back 20 years to consider whether any future prosecution might be made.

Sussex Police confirmed: “Over the past 10 days we have received from Lambeth Palace two reports from a church safeguarding consultant, which contain reviews of church safeguarding files relating to historic issues in the Chichester Diocese. We have also received the files themselves.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Watchdog works with those abused by priests as children to prevent recurrence

IRELAND
The Irish Times

ANDREW FAGAN

RITE & REASON: The courage of the abused is helping the church put preventative measures in place

MEASURES TAKEN by the church in Ireland to make it a safer place for children are showing their effect. The most recent publication of statistics by its Child Safeguarding and Protection Service show a marked decline in alleged child sexual abuse incidents by priests reported to the Archdiocese of Dublin from a peak in the 1980s.

This does not mean that the story of child abuse by priests can be laid aside as history. We all need constant reminding of the devastation caused by the abuse of hundreds of children by a small but by no means insignificant number of priests in Dublin over many years. Sadly, a number of them were serial child abusers who wreaked havoc and destroyed the lives of children and families – havoc and hurt compounded by the stunning failure to address these crimes.

Over the past two decades, since revelations of child abuse by priests came into the public domain, the archdiocese, together with other dioceses and religious congregations, has persisted in implementing quality programmes of child safeguarding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Monsignor Lynn Set For Third Day Of Cross-Examination In Clergy Sex Abuse Trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

by Pat Ciarrocchi

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Tuesday morning, 61 year old Monsignor William Lynn will be back on the witness stand at the Criminal Justice Center testifying in his own defense.

Lynn, a priest for 36 years and the one time Secretary of the Clergy, is the highest ranking Catholic Church administrator to be tried for his handling of clergy sex abuse.

“There are some hard questions he’s got to answer,” says John White of Downingtown. On Thursday, White had traveled to Philadelphia and spent the day in Courtroom 304, praying for his pastor.

“We’re very concerned about how he is being treated. He’s probably the nicest gentleman I’ve ever known and I think that will come out in the end.”

The jury, which begins its tenth week on duty, won’t be judging nice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

May 28, 2012

Former priest jailed on sex charges; served in southern Ontario parishes

CANADA
Brandon Sun

BRANTFORD, Ont. - A former Catholic priest who served in parishes throughout southern Ontario has been sentenced to 15 months in jail.

James Boudreau was convicted on one count of sexual assault involving a teenager, dating back to 1984.

Boudreau was also sentenced to six months on a second charge after another person came forward regarding an incident in 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 PM

Ex-Guelph priest sent to jail over sex assaults

CANADA
Guelph Mercury

GUELPH — Former priest James Boudreau nodded to a handful of supporters as he was led out of a courtroom Monday to begin jail terms for two historic sexual assaults.

One jail term is 15 months in length. The second sentence is for a six-month term. It will run concurrently with the longer one.

“I believe it was on the harsh side,” defense attorney Roger Yachetti said, in a brief interview outside the Ontario Court of Justice room. He’ll seek instruction from Boudreau, but doubted an appeal will be launched.

Crown prosecutor Steve Hamilton termed Justice Gary Hearn’s decision “well reasoned” and “appropriate.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Talking to teens about abuse? Check your panic at the door

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 28, 2012

Talking to your teen about sexual abuse? Don’t worry. Just take a deep breath and keep reading.

If your kids are younger, start here.

Usually, teen victims will reach out to their peers—friends who have no training, few skills and lack the maturity to properly report the abuse to the cops and get the victim help. Many times, the victim will swear the friend to secrecy. The friend, seeing how the victim has already been hurt and betrayed, will readily keep the secret. If the abuser is a teacher of someone the friend knows, the peer will keep the secret out of fear.

It’s a lose-lose: We have another teen who is suffering from vicarious trauma, fear and stress because they are forced to “keep the secret.” This happened in my own case, and the long-term wounds that many of my high school classmates suffered were just as deep and long-lasting as my own. Teen victims are also more likely to be blamed for the abuse (“Why did you keep going back?” “Why didn’t you just punch the guy?” “You must have wanted it.”), so the lifetime effects of the abuse can be more debilitating and shameful for everyone involved.

You’re a parent of a teenager. What the hell do you do now?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Group submits evidence of State's co-operation with Magdalene laundries

IRELAND
RTE News

The Justice for Magdalenes campaign group has discovered that women were transferred from State-funded mother and baby homes to Magdalene laundries, where they were held against their will and without their children.

The group said the evidence strengthens the case for an immediate State apology and compensation to former detainees.

Last year the UN Committee Against Torture strongly criticised the Government's failure to apologise to and compensate former detainees of the State's 10 Catholic-run Magdalene laundries.

Today some 500 pages of testimony - gathered in recent months from 13 survivors - was given to the McAleese Committee, which was established by the Government in response to the UN's criticisms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Church of England inquiry into Sussex abuse bishop

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

By Colin Campbell
BBC South East Home Affairs Correspondent

The Church of England has carried out a investigation into a former Sussex bishop, the BBC has learnt.

The Right Reverend Bishop Peter Ball resigned in 1993 after receiving a police caution for committing an act of gross indecency against a teenager.

Files kept at Lambeth Palace about the former Bishop of Lewes are being scrutinised by police.

A Church of England spokesman said the church had instigated a review of the files and could not comment further.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Greens campaign to help abuse victims get church assets

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Anna Patty
May 29, 2012

"With the accused priest either penniless or deceased, and the church itself not being a legal entity able to be sued in its own right, victims of sexual abused are left with no legal remedy" ... Greens MP David Shoebridge. Photo: Nick Moir

VICTIMS of alleged sex abuse at the hands of Catholic priests claim they have been denied adequate compensation because the church has its assets locked up in property trusts.

The NSW Greens released a draft bill yesterday that aims to hold the Catholic Church financially responsible for such abuse.

The Greens MP David Shoebridge said the NSW Court of Appeal held, in a landmark 2007 case, that the church's assets, controlled by property trusts, could not be accessed by victims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

Vaticano: «Un cardinale dietro il corvo»

CITTA DEL VATICAN
Il Messaggero

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO - Al di là di Porta Sant’Anna tutto scorre come se apparentemente non stesse capitando niente di speciale. Frotte di turisti che vanno e vengono, le guardie svizzere che si fannofotografare dai giapponesi, il solito traffico di auto targate Scv che entrano ed escono dal confine. Eppure lassù, nell’Appartamento, quello con la A maiuscola, tutti gli sviluppi, anche minimi che stanno emergendo dalla più grave inchiesta che sia mai capitata in tempi recenti vengono seguiti con estrema attenzione.

Per ora in carcere c’è solo Paolo Gabriele, un uomo semplice sul quale pesano sospetti terribili. E’ il bandolo della matassa, il terminale, magari inconsapevole, di una filiera che porta in alto. A questo punto gli inquirenti non escludono nemmeno un cardinale. Per questo gli sforzi investigativi sono concentrati sul maggiordomo, sul suo passato, si passano a setaccio i suoi conti correnti e quelli dei familiari. Si cerca di capire a chi era diretta quella miniera di carte sottratte al Papa, pazientemente riprodotte e meticolosamente catalogate dopo che erano transitate su una delle scrivanie ritenute più sicure al mondo. E pensare che in pochissimi sono ammessi in quella stanza dall’atmosfera rarefatta.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Mystery mole in the Vatican

VATICAN CITY
The Australian

AFP
May 29, 2012

An UNNAMED cardinal is suspected of being a leading mole behind a series of embarrassing leaks of confidential papal documents, the Italian media reported yesterday.

"A cardinal led the crow," read the headline in Il Messaggero, referring to the Pope's personal butler Paolo Gabriele, who was arrested last week in the "Vatileaks" scandal after secret papers were found in his home.

"The real brains are the cardinals. Then there are the monsignors, secretaries and smaller fry," according to one source quoted by La Repubblica.

Gabriele, who has worked at the Vatican since 2006 and was one of a select few with access to the Pope's private quarters, was arrested a month after the Pope set up a special commission of cardinals to probe the leaks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

La Santa Sede: «Nessun cardinale è indagato»

ITALIA
Corriere della Sera

MILANO - «Non c'è nessun cardinale italiano o straniero sospettato, né nessuna donna è indagata». Lo ha affermato il portavoce della Santa Sede, padre Federico Lombardi. «Tutto questo - ha detto padre Lombardi - lo smentisco in modo totale». «Faccio presente - ha spiegato il portavoce - che la Commissione nominata dal Papa sente diverse persone fra cui cardinali, ma questo non significa che siano sospettati». Ed è falso anche, ha assicurato, che «ci sia qualche donna indagata». Insomma, ha scandito, «è pura fantasia quanto afferma una presunta intervista pubblicata su un quotidiano».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Carte rubate al Papa, un cardinale italiano finisce nella lista dei sospettati

CITTA DEL VATICANO
Corriere della Sera

[con il video]

CITTÀ DEL VATICANO - Che nell'indagine sui corvi si facesse sul serio lo si era capito già il mese scorso, quando Benedetto XVI istituì la commissione cardinalizia con pieni poteri presieduta dal porporato dell'Opus Dei Julián Herranz e con il prefetto emerito di Propaganda Fide Jozef Tomko e Salvatore De Giorgi, già arcivescovo di Palermo. In apparenza poteva sembrare pletorica, da settimane erano già in corso l'indagine penale del Tribunale vaticano e quella amministrativa della Segreteria di Stato. Ma una commissione simile ha due caratteristiche fondamentali: risponde direttamente al Papa e, con piena autorità, può indagare su chiunque. Gia allora si era messo in conto che l'inchiesta sulla fuga di notizie, al di là della manovalanza, potesse toccare livelli più alti, fino al Collegio cardinalizio: «Agirà in forza del mandato pontificio a tutti i livelli».

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:59 AM

Vatican says trust in church hurt by leaks scandal

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

VATICAN CITY | Mon May 28, 2012

(Reuters) - The faith of Roman Catholics in their Church has been damaged by a scandal over leaked documents in which the pope's butler has been arrested, the Vatican said on Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 AM

Cardinals divided. Bertone’s management under fire

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

The IOR events divide the cardinals. Thursday the lay governing council of the ‘Vatican bank’ fired its president Ettore Gotti Tedeschi with a series of accusations. But most people know that the ‘pope’s strongbox’ is looked after by a double management. Above the lay-supervisory council is the cardinals’ commssion which met on Friday, but was unable to release a statement.This was an unprecedented event and a sign that an agreement has not yet been reached. the committee includes cardinals Attilio Nicora, Jean-Louis Tauran, Telesphore Placidus Toppo and Odilo Pedro Scherer, led by the Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone . Apparently Nicora and Tauran criticised Bertone over his management of Gotti Tedeschi’s dismissal and the issue of the negotiation which would lead the Holy See to finally join Ocse’s ‘white list’ , a record of financially virtuous countries”.

The experts from Moneyval, the European Council group that deals with rating countries' measures against money laundering and terror funding are still monitoring the Vatican’s regulations and procedures. Moreover Nicora resents Bertone for taking power away from the Aif, the Vatican internal information authority that he leads, slowing down the journey towards financial transparency. It is hard to tell if the clash within the cardinals’commission involves the evaluation of Gotti Tedeschi’s work. But there are no doubts that this will have repercussions on the nomination of the new president. At the moment the favourite to succeed Gotti Tedeschi is vice-president Ronaldo Hermann Schmitz, a banker from Piacenza. But the there are many theories. The ideal candidate is the former leader of Bundesbank, Hans Tietmeyer, from Germany, who would be a welcome choice for the pope, but he is very old. Now within the cardinals’commission there are two distinct currents. On one side those (Nicora, Tauran) who believe that transparency, the need to comply with international standard to be included in the ‘white list’ is paramount, on the other those who like Bertone believe that this line of action must be followed with moderation, since the Vatican is unqiue and cannot be compared with other sovreign states. Apparently Moneyval concluded, after the first inspection, last November, that the new regulation was ‘too vague’ . It therefore went through quite substantial changes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Rumours of new suspects beyond the Tiber: now the hunt is on for the masterminds

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

A lay functionary under scrutiny: he could be arrested

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

Interrogations of the lay officials of the Secretariat of State, a hunt for the possible mastermind behind the infiltrators, internal 'governance' in anguish. Scandals even graver than this (such as the Calvi case) occurred in the Wotyla papcy, but today the media coverage is multiplied. Vatican investigators seek evidence, proof, and possible "higher level" accomplices, in fact, Vatican public prosecutor Nicola Picardi's "initial investigation" has already been closed, and the phase of "formal investigation", conducted by Judge Piero Antonio Bonnet, has already begun.

Yesterday the Pope mentioned the Gospel: “the wind shakes the House of God, but it does not fall”. No direct reference to the Vatileaks scandal, though the reference does mention clouds that are gathering of the skies of the present. The transition to the formal stage, said spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, has made it possible to officially release the name of the arrested individual; furthermore, it involves a real arrest to all effects, given that in the Vatican, the practice taking a suspect into "custody" does not exist. The investigation has been proceeding swiftly thanks to the fact that it's entirely within the Vatican's jurisdiction: Gabriele is a Vatican citizen, and lives next to the Gendarmerie, and it was in his home were the "confidential documents were discovered." Full-court investigations, which don't exclude "other acts"; for this reason, the length of the investigation could even lengthen. Again in the afternoon, Fr. Lombardi intervened to explain that "the judiciary has now charged Paolo Gabriele simply with the crime of aggravated theft: we are at a very early stage of criminal proceedings, therefore the high estimates regarding an eventual prison sentence printed by some newspapers have absolutely no justification”. A clarification with respect to some reports, according to which Gabriele would have been charged with crimes such as a violation of the correspondence of a head of state, and thus an attack on state security, with a penalty of up to 30 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Fr. Lombardi: “There are no cardinals being investigated”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The statement of the director of the Vatican Press Office following developments in the saga of the papal butler’s arrest

Vatican Insider staff
Rome

The director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi has confirmed that “there are no Italian or foreign cardinals being investigated” in light of the arrest of the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele.

“This is a painful situation for many people, because of their acquaintance and closeness to Paolo and because of the negative light in which it may portray the Church and the Holy See,” the Jesuit priest and Vatican spokesman recalled. He then said that “the Pope is informed about and aware of the situation and is maintaining his faith and moral superiority.”

The Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, who was recently arrested on suspicion of leaking confidential Vatican documents, “will collaborate fully” in the investigations, his lawyer, Carlo Fusco confirmed, in a communiqué issued by the Vatican Press Office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 AM

Someone persuaded him to keep those papers

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

A source close to the butler “ He has either gone crazy or has been framed”

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock”. Benedict XVI exhausted, grieved, but still smiling yesterday reminded believers of Rinnovamento dello Spirito (Renewal of the Spirit) of Jesus’ words. Even though the Vatican was founded on the rock, its foundations keep shaking after the unexpected turn of events with the arrest of Paolo Gabriele, the pope’s butler, on suspicion of leaking hundred of confidential documents which he would have taken from the pope’s private desk.

In the Sacred palaces, yesterday morning, there was a sense of annoyance for the articles spreading doubts over the accusations and describing the shock of many people in the Vatican at the possibility that someone like ‘little Paolo’ could be a mole. “ the documents that were found in his possession and which he should not have had are incontrovertible evidence of his guilt” said the Secretariat of State.

After the disbelief and shock, faced with the fact that the pope’s butler was illegally in possession of various documents, many in and outside the Vatican pondered about the butler’s motives and the people behind him.

An old priest with a long experience of vatican trials invited people to be cautious “ The arrest took place Wednesday evening, the butler’s home was searched in that occasion and the documents were found. But a serious enquiry, worthy of its name, before labelling him a ‘mole’ would have to find elements proving how those documents exchanged hands”. The cleric added “ we all feel embarassed and sad, Paolo’s family is crushed. Whoever pushed him to do such things is guiltier than him, because he used a naive person…”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Holy See remains in crisis following ousting of Vatican bank president

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW in Rome

THREE DAYS after the sensational arrest of Pope Benedict’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, and four days after the dismissal of Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, president of Vatican bank IOR, the Holy See remains in crisis.

In a climate that smells of a witch hunt, further arrests are predicted as Vatican police attempt to solve “Vatileaks”, the leaking of private documentation from the papal apartment.

In an audience with the Renewal in the Holy Spirit movement on Saturday, Pope Benedict appeared to make reference to the current difficulty when quoting St Matthew: “And the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.”

With the ex-butler Mr Gabriele still in detention (in a Vatican gendarmerie holding room, since there is no Vatican prison), those winds continue to blow. Furthermore, as the international clamour makes itself more manifest, there were all the indications powerful figures in the Holy See were busily engaged in a Stalinist-style rewrite of history.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

INVESTIGATION INTO LEAKING OF RESERVED DOCUMENTS

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 26 May 2012 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. today made the following declaration concerning investigations taking place in the Vatican on the leaking of reserved documents.

"I can confirm that the individual arrested on Wednesday evening for illegal possession of reserved documents, which were found in his domicile located within Vatican territory, is Mr. Paolo Gabriele, who is still being held in detention.

"The first phase of the 'summary investigation' under the direction of Nicola Picardi, promoter of justice, has come to an end and given way to the phase of 'formal investigation', which is being conducted by Piero Antonio Bonnet, investigating magistrate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Assembly in the West to be planned in Claremorris

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

For those wishing to be involved in planning a gathering in the West similar to what we had in Dublin a few weeks ago, a meeting is planned for Wednesday next, 30 May. it will be held in the MacWilliam Hotel, Claremorris at 8.00pm on Wednesday, May 30th. Anyone interested — lay, religious or priest — is welcome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Silencing priests weakens Church authority — Sean O’Conaill

IRELAND
The Association of Catholic Priests

Why exactly does the Catholic magisterium seek to prevent Catholic priests from questioning magisterial positions, even on merely disciplinary matters?

The only good reason surely must be to strengthen the authority of those positions, to persuade us that those positions are the only correct ones.

However, I have to say that for this particular Irish Catholic the action recently taken against six Irish priests has had precisely the opposite effect. I strongly believe that the authority of the magisterium itself, and of all clergy who expressly support its positions on controversial disciplinary issues, has never been more seriously undermined in Ireland than by this action.

The reason is that in Ireland we tend to give authority to teachers in proportion to their disinterestedness – the degree to which they obviously derive no personal benefit from what they teach. So, the few Catholic clergy who disregarded the Irish penal laws of the period 1691-1750 gained authority from the fact that they had nothing to gain and everything to lose by staying in Ireland and proclaiming what they taught.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Did the Prosecution's "Smoking Gun" Backfire?

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

It was billed as the prosecution's smoking gun -- a worn gray folder of documents passed out to the jury, just before the prosecution rested its case.

Inside the folder were several typed and handwritten documents compiled by Monsignor William J. Lynn that were ordered shredded by Cardinal Bevilacqua in 1994, but 18 years later, those documents mysteriously reappeared in a locked safe at archdiocese headquarters.

The most famous document in the folder was the list of 35 then-active priests compiled by Lynn who had been either convicted or accused of sexual abuse of minors. The smoking gun was supposed to be proof of a conspiracy to protect the Catholic Church and keep its shameful sexual abuse of children hidden at all costs.

But last week, as the defense presented its case, the smoking gun took on another meaning. The way the defense spun it, that worn gray folder was proof that Msgr. Lynn had done his best to expose sexually abusive priests in the ministry, and put his bosses on notice about all of them. The story of how Lynn's superiors handled those documents, as well as their author, was proof that the monsignor was out of the real power loop in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Voices of new suspects beyond the Tevere; now the hunt is on for the masterminds

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

Interrogations of the lay officials of the Secretariat of State, a hunt for the possible mastermind behind the infiltrators, internal 'governance' in anguish. Scandals even graver than this (such as the Calvi case) occurred in the Wotyla papcy, but today the media coverage is multiplied. Vatican investigators seek evidence, proof, and possible "higher level" accomplices, in fact, Vatican public prosecutor Nicola Picardi's "initial investigation" has already been closed, and the phase of "formal investigation", conducted by Judge Piero Antonio Bonnet, has already begun.

Yesterday the Pope mentioned the Gospel: “the wind shakes the House of God, but it does not fall”. No direct reference to the Vatileaks scandal, though the reference does mention clouds that are gathering of the skies of the present. The transition to the formal stage, said spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi, has made it possible to officially release the name of the arrested individual; furthermore, it involves a real arrest to all effects, given that in the Vatican, the practice taking a suspect into "custody" does not exist. The investigation has been proceeding swiftly thanks to the fact that it's entirely within the Vatican's jurisdiction: Gabriele is a Vatican citizen, and lives next to the Gendarmerie, and it was in his home were the "confidential documents were discovered." Full-court investigations, which don't exclude "other acts"; for this reason, the length of the investigation could even lengthen. Again in the afternoon, Fr. Lombardi intervened to explain that "the judiciary has now charged Paolo Gabriele simply with the crime of aggravated theft: we are at a very early stage of criminal proceedings, therefore the high estimates regarding an eventual prison sentence printed by some newspapers have absolutely no justification”. A clarification with respect to some reports, according to which Gabriele would have been charged with crimes such as a violation of the correspondence of a head of state, and thus an attack on state security, with a penalty of up to 30 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

"I confess: I'm one of the whistleblowers We're doing it to defend the Pope"

ROME
La Repubblica

by MARCO ANSALDO

ROME - Who are the Vatican whistleblowers? "There isn't just one brain behind the operation, there are several. There are cardinals, private secretaries, monsignors and the small fry. Men and women, priests and laypeople. The whistleblowers even include cardinals. But the Vatican Secretary of State cannot admit that and has the small fry arrested, like "Paoletto" (as Paolo Gabriele is affectionately known), the Pope's valet. Who has got nothing to do with it apart from having passed on some letters."

A suburb in the north of Rome, a table in a bar, traffic passing by. It is lunchtime on a now limpid Sunday morning and one of those behind the flow of confidential letters from the Holy See 1 is explaining how the operation works.
"Those doing it are acting to protect the Pope."

The Pope? Why?
"Because the whistleblower - or rather whistleblowers, because there are more than one of them - want to reveal the corruption inside the church in recent years, since 2009-2010."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

"Confesso, uno dei corvi sono io Lo facciamo per difendere il Papa"

ROMA
La Repubblica

di MARCO ANSALDO

ROMA - Chi sono i "corvi" del Vaticano? "La mente dell'operazione non è una sola, ma sono più persone". "Ci sono i cardinali, i loro segretari personali, i monsignori e i pesci piccoli. Donne e uomini, prelati e laici. Tra i "corvi" ci sono anche le Eminenze. Ma la Segreteria di Stato non può dirlo, e fa arrestare la manovalanza, "Paoletto" appunto, il maggiordomo del Papa. Che non c'entra nulla se non per aver recapitato delle lettere su richiesta". Un quartiere alto di Roma nord, un tavolino di un bar, sempre un po' di traffico intorno. All'ora di pranzo di una domenica mattina finalmente tersa uno dei "corvi", gli autori della fuoriuscita di lettere segrete dalla Santa Sede, spiega i dettagli dell'operazione. "Chi lo fa - dice subito - agisce in favore del Papa".

Per il Papa? E perché?
"Perché lo scopo del "corvo", o meglio dei "corvi", perché qui si tratta di più persone, è quello di far emergere il marcio che c'è dentro la Chiesa in questi ultimi anni, a partire dal 2009-2010".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Laity to set up church reform groups

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

FOLLOWING THE Toward an Assembly of the Catholic Church gathering in Dublin’s Regency Hotel three weeks ago, which was attended by over 1,000 Catholic laity, priests and nuns calling for dialogue in the Irish church, two further events are planned for this coming week.

A meeting will take place in All Hallows College, Dublin at 8pm on Wednesday, May 30th. It will discuss the formation of an umbrella group to represent laity interested in supporting reform and renewal in the church.

“We feel that an umbrella organisation will bring greater focus and cohesion to the ‘lay voice’ calling for dialogue,” said Noel McCann, one of the organisers of Wednesday’s meeting.

“Our aim would be to establish the organisation in the mainstream, and with the moral authority coming from a significant membership [so that it can] become relevant to the debate on the future reform and renewal of our church,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

'Tide turned against Catholic Church in Vatican'

VATICAN CITY
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

Pope Benedict's butler Paolo Gabriele has been charged with illegal possession of secret documents that revealed cronyism and corruption in Vatican contracts.

The documents revealed allegations of corruption, mismanagement and cronyism in the awarding of contracts for work in the Vatican and internal disagreement on the management of the Vatican bank.

Press TV has interviewed Gerard O'Connell, a Vatican Affairs analyst in Rome about the ramifications of the leaked information of the internal conduct of the Catholic Church and the investigations that have been opened regarding the matter. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV : Documents that allege corruption in the Vatican contracts with Italian firms… they've now hit the very heart of the Roman Catholic Church with the arrest of the Pope's personal butler.

How sensitive do you think this has become when we speak of it becoming nearer or closer to the Vatican doors?

O'Connell: Well, it's certainly dramatic. It's certainly serious. What you are seeing here is the revelation of private correspondence at the heart of government.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Pope’s silence on scandal, lack of transparency: Analyst

VATICAN CITY
Press TV (Iran)

[with video]

The Catholic Church has always had a long history of involvement in illegal activities such as child sex abuse, always covered up by the heads of the Church.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Dr. Randy Short, with the Dignity, Human Rights and Peace organization from Washington to further discuss the issue.

The video also offers opinions of two additional guests, the Vatican affairs analyst, Gerard O’Connell from Rome and also, Reverend Dr. Stephen Sizer from the capital city of Tehran. The following is a rough transcript of the interview.

Press TV: The Vatican’s own newspaper for one has ignored the story we have been seeing the Pope himself he has not commented on this in the public appearances that he has made up until now. Do you think that this is an appropriate way to handle the scandal?

Short: Well, for the personas that are in the employ of the Holy See, it would not make a lot of sense for you to do exposes on the persons that sign the cheques that you receive pay from.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Q&A on the Vatican’s ‘butler did it’ story

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

Given intense interest in the arrest of a papal butler charged with being at least one of the moles responsible for the Vatican leaks scandal, I’ll list below the five most common questions I’ve fielded, along with my best stab at a response.

1. Who is this guy?

Paolo Gabriele is a 46-year-old Italian layman, with a wife and three children, who’s worked in the papal apartment since 1998. Gabriele was hired by the personal secretary of Pope John Paul II, Stanislaw Dziwisz, today the cardinal of Krakow. Gabriele’s role was mostly to see to the pope’s clothing, to serve his meals, and to be on hand for other personal needs. He performed the same functions for John Paul and Benedict when they were on the road, travelling on the papal plane.

As such, Gabriele was one of just a handful of people who enjoy direct daily access to the pope, along with Benedict’s two priest-secretaries and the four consecrated lay women belonging to the Memores Domini community who do most of the cooking and cleaning. Benedict XVI, who puts great emphasis on fostering a family spirit among his closest aides, would doubtless see Gabriele as a member of his personal family.

Gabriele, known around the Vatican as “Paoletto” (“little Paul”), has the reputation of being a devout and fairly simple person, not someone who would ordinarily be suspected of involvement in high intrigue.

2. What’s the evidence against him?

Officials familiar with the case say it’s almost a slam-dunk, given that a search of Gabriele’s Vatican apartment turned up stacks of confidential documents along with equipment for making reproductions. Because the Vatican doesn’t have a jail, Gabriele has been detained in one of three secure rooms in the offices of the Vatican gendarmes, a space more often used to accommodate pick-pockets arrested for fleecing the large crowds of tourists on Vatican grounds before they’re turned over to Italian authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Memo explaining why Vatican Bank head was fired

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on May. 27, 2012 NCR Today

Yesterday the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera published an internal memorandum from the Supervisory Council of the Institute for the Works of Religion, popularly known as the “Vatican Bank,” outlining why the council unanimously expressed no confidence in the institute’s president, Italian economist and banker Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

The memo was written in English, the usual working language for council meetings, and was signed by Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus and secretary of the Supervisory Council.

The memo can be found here:

When Gotti Tedeschi was named president of the Institute for the Works of Religion in 2009, he was widely touted as a reformer, the captain of internal financial reforms desired by Pope Benedict XVI. In the years since, however, complaints have repeatedly circulated that Gotti Tedeschi acted as a sort of absentee landlord, taking greater interest in his work with Italian banks and his own speaking and writing rather than his Vatican commitments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Cardinal a leading mole in Vatileaks scandal: Italy media

VATICAN CITY
AsiaOne

Monday, May 28, 2012

ROME - An unnamed cardinal is suspected of being a leading mole behind a series of embarrassing leaks of confidential papal documents, the Italian media reported on Monday.

"A cardinal led the crow," read the headline in Il Messaggero, referring to Pope Benedict XVI's personal butler Paolo Gabriele who was arrested last week in the "Vatileaks" scandal after secret papers were found in his home.

"The real brains are the cardinals. Then there are the monsignors, secretaries and smaller fry," according to one source quoted by La Repubblica.

Gabriele, who has worked at the Vatican since 2006 and was one of a select few with access to the pope's private quarters, was arrested a month after the pope set up a special commission of cardinals to probe the leaks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Vatican Documents Leaked: Did Butler Paolo Gabriele Do It?

VATICAN CITY
ABC News (United States)

[with video]

By JEFFREY KOFMAN (@JeffreyKofman) and PHOEBE NATANSON

May 28, 2012

He is always at the Pope Benedict XVI's side.

Butler Paolo Gabriele, helps the Pope dress in the morning and serves him his meals through the day.

But now the Pope's loyal butler is under arrest, accused of betraying the man he serves by leaking embarrassing confidential Vatican documents to the Italian media.

The arrest has stunned the Vatican, a place very familiar with intrigue, but not public betrayal by someone so close to Pope.

"The fact that this came from somebody who was in the papal apartment and a member of the papal family is great cause for a crisis of consciousness," said John Allen, with the U.S. National Catholic Reporter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Vatican corruption scandal widens

VATICAN CITY
CBC News

The Associated Press

Posted: May 28, 2012

One of the Vatican's biggest scandals in decades appears to be widening with reports that an Italian cardinal may be involved in a power struggle involving leaked documents, corruption and intrigue.

Leading Italian newspapers Corriere della Sera and Il Messaggero reported Monday that the pope's butler — arrested three days ago for allegedly feeding documents to Italian journalists — clearly did not act alone, and that an unidentified cardinal is suspected of playing a major role in the scandal.

The Holy See had no immediate comment, but was planning to brief reporters on the latest developments.

The Vatican's investigation into the source of leaked documents has yielded its first target with the arrest of the butler, who reportedly kept a treasure trove of documents in his Vatican apartment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Vatican leakers say cardinals among plotters in scandal

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY | Mon May 28, 2012

(Reuters) - The worst crisis in Pope Benedict's pontificate deepened on Monday when Italian media said at least one cardinal was among those suspected of leaking sensitive documents as part of a power struggle at the top of the Church.

The scandal exploded last week when within a few days the pope's butler was arrested for leaking documents, the head of the Vatican's own bank was abruptly dismissed and a book was published alleging conspiracies among the cardinals or "princes of the Church".

Newspapers, quoting insiders who had themselves leaked documents, said the arrested butler was merely a scapegoat doing the bidding of more powerful figures in the scandal, which has been dubbed "Vatileaks".

Documents passed to Italian journalists accuse Vatican insiders of cronyism and corruption in contracts with Italian companies. La Stampa daily quoted one of the alleged leakers as saying the goal was to help the pope root out corruption.

On Saturday, Paolo Gabriele, 46, Pope Benedict's personal butler, was formally charged with stealing confidential papal documents. But leakers quoted by La Stampa, La Repubblica and other media said the leaking plot went much wider.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Vatican faces widening of leaks scandal

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY | Sun May 27, 2012

(Reuters) - The Vatican faces a widening scandal that in one short week has seen Pope Benedict's butler arrested, the president of its bank unceremoniously dismissed and the publication of a new book alleging conspiracies among cardinals.

It was a poisonous Pentecost Sunday for the pope, who likely had the tumultuous events of the past week on his mind as he celebrated a mass in St Peter's Basilica on the day regarded as the birthday of the Church.

On Saturday his personal butler, Paolo Gabriele, 46, was formally charged with stealing confidential papal documents in the scandal that has come to be known as "Vatileaks". Some of the documents allege cronyism and corruption in contracts with Italian companies.

One prominent cardinal, illustrating the growing emotion of the debate in Vatican circles, wrote in an Italian newspaper that the pope had been betrayed just as Jesus was betrayed 2,000 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Magdalene survivors 'still waiting for apology'

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Justice for Magdalenes group said today that survivors of abuse are still waiting for an apology, one year on from a UN reccommendation.

Women who were affected by abuse at the Magdalene laundries are also yet to receive any redress or reparation.

The support group is today submitting its NGO follow-up to the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva.

As part of this process, the Irish State is required to report back on measures taken to put last June’s recommendations in place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

The State Of The Church

UNITED STATES
WBUR

[with audio]

The Catholic Church has been in the public spotlight a lot this year. The issues of contraception and gay marriage have been part of the presidential campaign and church leaders have weighed in. There have also been new revelations in a case involving leaked Vatican documents, and it may actually be a case where the butler did it. Host Rachel Martin speaks with John Allen, a senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

For more on the potential impact of this case and the overall state of the U.S. Catholic Church right now, we're joined by John Allen. He is senior correspondent with the National Catholic Reporter. He joins us on the line.

Thanks so much for being with us, John.

JOHN ALLEN: Rachel, it's a pleasure.

MARTIN: We just heard Barbara Bradley Hagerty outline the gist of this case against Monsignor Lynn. What are the implications? What does this trial mean for the Catholic Church?

ALLEN: Well, on one level it is a sad confirmation of the narrative that is already terribly familiar, which is that there was a pattern in the church of when accusations of sexual abuse against personnel would be brought forward, not to report them to police and prosecutors; to try to handle them internally and, in some cases, to sweep them under the rug.

But the new element here is that for the first time, we have a senior church official who's been criminally indicted, not for the abuse itself but for the cover-up. And what that does is send a powerful signal to other administrators in the church that if they engage in the same kind of conduct, they could pay the same price.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Diocese and Morning Star Ranch Reach Settlement Agreement

SPOKANE (WA)
KHQ

Posted: May 28, 2012

by Katie Steiner, KHQ Reporter

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Diocese of Spokane handed out a letter to all of its parishioners Sunday. This letter was written by Bishop Blase Cupich announcing that they had reached a settlement with the victims of the Morning Star Boys Ranch case. The Bishop told KHQ that he was very happy that the diocese did not have to close any churches. This case has been in mediation since October of 2010. In his letter, the Bishop said that the settlement met all four of the diocese's goals. No parish will be foreclosed, all appeals will be withdrawn, the church will pay 1.5 million dollars in claims cases and mediation expenses, and Federal Judge Michael Hogal will be the Tort Claim Reviewer and will be in charge of any new future claims in the next four years. The Bishop also wrote "This is an important and significant turning point in a very sad chapter of our diocesan history. We can never forget the harm done to children, who deserved better from the Church and her ministers. Once again, I apologize to the survivors of the sexual abuse by clergy and to the families of survivors."

The attorney for 26 of the victims in this settlement, Tim Kosnoff, talked to KHQ and he said that this settlement "obtained some justice. I wish it could have been more, but it is validation, and it's closure for them, and compensation and I hope that they can put this chapter behind them and move on with their lives," Kosnoff said. He said that he was happy that this process is over, but was not thrilled with the outcome. "It was reasonable under the circumstances…this was not a victory, but it was not a defeat, we salvaged a case out of a very difficult situation."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Calls to make Catholic church liable for abuse

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

SEX abuse victims of priests in NSW may receive vastly higher compensation payments under a Greens proposal to let victims sue the Catholic Church directly.

Greens MP David Shoebridge says victims are missing out on potentially large payouts because they have to rely on mediation with the church.

They cannot sue the Catholic Church directly in NSW - unlike the Anglican Church - because of a 1936 state law that separated the church's property trust from its pastoral duties, he says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Sexual abuse lawsuits on hold while Philadelphia priests on trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Newsworks

May 28, 2012
By Elizabeth Fiedler

The landmark priest sexual abuse trial is set to resume in Philadelphia Tuesday. While the criminal trial continues, a flurry of lawsuits by alleged abuse victims are on hold.

Marci Hamilton is co-counsel in seven cases brought against the Catholic church by alleged abuse survivors.

"It's standard operating procedure for civil attorneys to stay out of the way of the prosecutors and to make sure the criminal trials go forward first," said Hamilton.

At the criminal trial, jurors have heard emotional testimony from an alleged victim, as well as testimony from Monsignor William Lynn -- who defended himself against allegations that he endangered children by helping re-assign priests accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

May 27, 2012

Vatican Historian Alberto Melloni – Consider Reality Leaks Instead

ITALY
Joey Piscitelli

Posted on May 27, 2012 by Joey Piscitelli

It’s absolutely no surprise that the Vatican is once again inundated with scandal and corruption, concerning the Popes new nightmare – the Vatican “leaks”.

Yes, we all know about the proverbial mystery movie; and this time the butler really did it. Nice work, Paolo Gabriele. An oscar is forthcoming to your Vatican prison cell. I caution you to watch your back in Vatican prison; you know the stories about the prison showers – and also the “alleged” stories about the Catholic Clergy.

You’re definitely in the wrong place, at the wrong time. In my defense for that last dubious remark- I’m only repeating information quoted in countless articles on Catholic clergy abuse in the last 10 years, by news reporters in virtually every country on this planet.

However, let me get to the real point. I was apparently on the brink of fainting today when I read the statement by Alberto Melloni, the Vatican historian that was quoted as saying this:

“Never has the sense of disorientation in the Catholic Church reached these levels. But now there is something more, a sense of systematic disorder”.

Yes… he said that.

The educated, famous Vatican historian Alberto Melloni actually said that there has never been a sense of disorientation, and systematic disorder in the Catholic church such as there is now.

As a clergy abuse victim myself, I can’t help but ask this uber-obvious question:

“Where the hell have you been for the last 20 years Melloni?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

Diocese of Antigonish announces more church closures

CANADA
The Cape Breton Post

Published on May 27, 2012
Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY — Four Sydney area Catholic churches are slated for closure over the next two years following an announcement by the Diocese of Antigonish, Sunday.

St. Anthony Daniel Church on Alexandra Street and Sacred Heart Church on George Street will close in June 2014. St. Joseph’s Church on Cabot Street will remain open and will absorb the congregations from those two churches.

In a letter by Bishop Brian Dunn to parishioners, the rationale for this change has to do with the fact St. Joseph’s is the newest of the three buildings, it’s large enough to accommodate the two other parishes, and it has level access, plenty of parking and office space in the church.

Next year, Immaculate Heart Church on Mira Road will close and Sunday services at St. Anne’s Church in Membertou will be discontinued. Those parishioners will relocate to the three operational Sydney churches before St. Anthony Daniel and Sacred Heart are shut down in 2014.

As a result of the amalgamation, St. Joseph’s parish will be renamed, said Rev. Donald MacGillivray, spokesperson for the diocese’s planning committee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:12 PM

Dozens protest Pope's silence on girl

ROME
MSN (New Zealand)

Dozens of people have protested at the Vatican against Pope Benedict XVI's failure to show interest in the case of Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of an ex-Vatican employee missing since 1983.

"Shame, shame," cried the protesters at Saint Peter's Square, reproaching the Pope for not mentioning her name after Sunday's Angelus prayers, when the pontiff often greets pilgrim groups and mentions topical issues.

"We came from all over Italy to hear the Pope say the name of Emanuela but we are once again leaving disappointed. There is something wrong here," one protester said.

The protest was organised by the missing 15-year-old schoolgirl's brother, Pietro, who has been leading a decades-long campaign to find out what happened to her. He has also accused the Vatican of silence and even complicity in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Missing girl's brother urges Vatican to open up

ROME
CNN

By Livia Borghese, for CNN

updated 2:10 PM EDT, Sun May 27, 2012

Rome (CNN) -- The brother of an Italian girl missing for nearly 30 years urged the Vatican to investigate her case as several hundred demonstrators carrying pictures of her marched to St. Peter's Square on Sunday.

The march came a day after Italian prosecutor Giancarlo Capaldo told CNN that a priest who used to run a church in Rome is under investigation on suspicion of complicity in the abduction of Emanuela Orlandi.

Msgr. Piero Vergari, the former rector of Sant'Apollinare, is being investigated along with four members of a criminal gang, Capaldo said Saturday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Six Cape Breton Catholic churches closing

CANADA
CBC News

Six Cape Breton Roman Catholic church buildings will close over the next few years, Sydney churchgoers learned Sunday.

In a letter from Brian Dunn, Bishop of Antigonish, parishioners were told the diocese was consolidating several city parishes into one.

"The reality experienced in many of our parishes makes us aware that we need some changes so that this pastoral care can be more effective, especially in light of the challenges within our diocese, including a declining number of priests, a declining and aging number of parishioners who regularly attend church, a declining financial support and an increase in the cost for goods and services associated with each parish," Dunn wrote.

He said the pastoral planning committee has decided to close several churches.
St. Augustine's on Grand Lake Road will close in July of this year
St. Nicholas in Whitney Pier will close in July of this year
Immaculate Heart on Mira Road will close in June 2013
St. Anne's in Membertou will no longer hold Sunday services as of June 2013
St. Anthony Daniel will close in June 2014
Sacred Heart in Sydney will close in June 2014

Dunn said after consulting with parishioners, it has been decided that a new parish with a new name will be established in Sydney next summer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:46 PM

Priest scandal, bishop scandal ... and Church reform

UNITED STATES
Meadville Tribune

James Drane
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — For Catholics who remained faithful throughout the pedophile priest scandal, this has been a dark and painful period. Every new revelation of abuse, every testimony by victims of a life ruined, is like another punch in the jaw or kick in the gut. The pain continues and we can expect an added shock. This time it will be a bishop scandal.

The awful things done by emotionally compromised pedophile priests raised all kinds of questions. Pedophilia, however, is a pathology not even well-understood in psychiatry. The word pedophile did not even appear in much of early 20th-century psychiatric literature. When it finally made it into the textbooks and dictionaries, it was called a paraphilia and listed with disorders like exhibitionism and voyeurism.

Freud recognized pedophilia as a sexual deviation. He thought that most male pedophiles were weak and impotent. He also emphasized what he thought was the seductive role of children. Little to no attention, however, was paid to the damage done to the children involved in this secretive and repetitive pathological behavior.

If understanding of pedophilic behavior was weak in psychiatry, imagine the level of understanding that existed in the church hierarchy. For bishops, the concept of sin alone was used to understand the acts of pedophile priests. For this reason, many bishops thought that confessing the sin, followed by a serious penance like a retreat, would solve the problem. After confession and penance, a pedophile priest would be considered forgiven and could then be returned to parish work. Like every sin which was confessed, a priest’s pedophile behavior had to be kept secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

The Vatican's Fake Occupy Implodes: Documents Evoke A History Of Money Laundering, Sexual Terrorism, And Even ... Murder

VATICAN CITY
OpEd News

By
Rev. Dan Vojir

THE BUTLER DID NOT DO IT

A tell-all book, leaked documents, billions in favorable contracts, money laundering, sexual terrorism ... and possibly murder. With St. Peter's in the background, it all sounds like a Dan Brown thriller. But in this mystery, the butler did not do it. At least not to the extent that a papal investigation would have it.

Paolo Gabriele, 46, who has worked as Benedict's butler since 2006, was reportedly taken into custody after investigators found a mass of documents in the Vatican apartment he shares with his wife and three children.

The arrest comes a month after the Vatican gave an investigative team led by Cardinal Julian Herranz, a member of Opus dei, a full "pontifical mandate" to join Vatican police in rooting out the perpetrators of what has been dubbed Vatileaks.

Gabriele is now languishing in a Vatican prison cell (yes, the Vatican does have a prison) and for now it seems that his only crime was the same as that of Pvt. Bradley Manning (wikileaks) - leaking the juiciest anti-Vatican documents in history.

Sources close to Gabriele, however, say that he would not have masterminded a leak and that his possession of the documents proves very little: no motive has been proffered and apparently no money was offered for the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

In Clergy Sex Abuse Trial, Monsignor William Lynn Returns To The Stand

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

[video]

By Pat Ciarrocchi

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)

– In Philadelphia’s landmark clergy sex abuse trial, Defendant Monsignor William Lynn returns to the stand on Tuesday morning, entering a seventh hour of cross-examination.

Lynn’s defending himself against charges that he endangered children, while in his role as Secretary of the Clergy from 1992 to 2004 — while working for the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

Prosecutors have built their case around documents and testimony they believe proves that Lynn kept in ministry, priests who were known to sexually abuse children.

Just as the jury listens to Lynn’s defense which opened on Tuesday, observers in the courtroom are weighing the evidence too.

“No doubt about it, there are tough questions that he has to answer,” said John White, a parishioner from Monsignor Lynn’s Downingtown parish. He and 14 others traveled from Chester County to Philadelphia to give him moral support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Director of Vatican Bank chooses silence over profanity following his resignation

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Following yesterday’s resignation from the IOR, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi said he did not wish to make any comment lest he upset the Pope. His resignation comes after three years of service and the accumulation of a number of enemies

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

“I prefer not to speak, as all I would do is curse. Bear with me.” “I am still torn between a yearning to explain the truth and my concern for upsetting the Holy Father with these explanations. My love for the Pope prevails over every other sentiment, even the defence of my own reputation which is infamously being questioned.”

The mistrust that led to Ettore Gotti Tedeschi’s resignation from his post as President of the IOR, after less that three years in office, came as a shock but the banker had been considering the possibility for months. Gotti Tedeschi had decided to collaborate directly with Roman magistrates after they began an inquiry into money movements being made in certain IOR accounts by Italian and German banks. This marked the beginning of the misunderstandings between him and the Institute’s director general, Paolo Cipriani. At the time, Gotti Tedeschi who having been placed under investigation by public prosecutors received the public support of Benedict XVI who greeted him and his wife after one of his Angelus prayer in Castel Gandolfo. “We need to act as examples,” the Pope had reiterated. The new president, chosen by the Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, had continued the process towards renewal and a greater transparency which had already begun, closing dormant current accounts that were registered under names of figureheads.

One of the people Gotti Tedeschi was at loggerheads with, was Marco Simeon, the current director of RAI Vaticano, one of the offices of Italy’s largest television company RAI, who is linked to wheeler-dealer, Luigi Bisignani. Last summer, the IOR was involved in the rescue operation to salvage Milan’s Saint Rafael hospital, called for by Cardinal Bertone and supported by a number of Milanese businessmen and politicians. Gotti Tedeschi was initially in favour of the operation but then changed his mind, considering it a risky venture. This led to fall outs with Giuseppe Profiti, manager of Rome’s Bambino Gesù hospital and Bertone’s number one man in the field of healthcare. Meanwhile, Gotti Tedeschi’s relations with the Cardinal Secretary of State had also begun to cool, although they had improved recently.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

“The serious allegations of Fr. Amorth are ignored by the Vatican”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Interview with Piero Orlandi on the eve of the March for Emanuela scheduled in Rome. The exorcist had talked about seedy parties and grooming instances involving a policeman

Giacomo Galeazzi
Vatican City

Pietro Orlandi, on Sunday you will lead a march to ask for the truth concerning the disappearance of your sister Emanuela. What schedule will the demonstration follow?

We will meet Sunday 27th in Campidoglio square at 9.30. A giant poster of Emanuela will be hung on the front of Campidoglio Palace and after talks by various speakers, among which Alemanno, Zingaretti and Veltroni, the march will start. The itinerary will take us to St. Peter basilica. We will walk in silence for Emanuela and for all the people who do not get justice. The presence of many municipalities from all over Italy demonstrates that there is a part of this country that is honest and has a great sense of justice, a part of this country, which believes that values like truth, justice and respect for life are crucial in a civilized society. I believe that even a simple march might mark the beginning of a change in the conscience of those who govern and in our Church.”

Rome’s Prosecutor Office investigated the former director of the St. Apollinare basilica, Mgr. Piero Vergari and is interrogating people who knew about the facts. How do you rate the new elements of the enquiry?

Positively. I hope that this collaboration between magistrates and Vatican, requested by my family for years because it can be decisive to uncover the truth, is prompted by a sincere and transparent will to clarify the matter”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Struggle between currents of thought could be considered symptom of a crisis of government

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The most authoritative Vatican analyst in the United States shares his thoughts on the Vatican leak crisis

Paolo Mastrolilli
New York correspondent

“I can’t help but wonder whether this whole affair can really be ascribed to the Pope’s butler alone, or if someone else is pulling strings behind the scenes.”

John Allen is sceptical. The most authoritative Vatican analyst in the United States has trouble believing that the entire secret document affair, which has emerged in the past few months from the innermost offices of the Holy See, will end with the arrest of Paolo Gabriele.

Why doesn’t this version of the facts convince you?

“I’ve read the opinions of those who put forward the suspicion that the Pope’s butler may simply be a scapegoat and I share that view. I can’t help but think that ‘Vatileaks’ can’t simply be traced to one butler but to some high-ranking ecclesiastical figure who has remained behind the scenes. It’s a question that remains unanswered, but I don't find the answer given so far, Gabriele's arrest that is, entirely convincing.”

Couldn’t he have stolen these documents for personal reasons?

“From what I’ve heard, this butler is a very down-to-earth, religious person. I don’t know him personally, but the description of him that is going round does not match the profile of the alleged spy.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Something Is Really Fishy About The Arrest Of The Pope's Butler

VATICAN CITY
Business Insider

Michael Brendan Dougherty|May 27, 2012

The Pope's personal butler, Paolo Gabriele, 46 was arrested last week in connection with the leaking of letters from the Vatican, including many personal ones to and from Pope Benedict himself.

The story has all the elements of a punchline, or a 19th century potboiler. A Butler being held in the Vatican's own rarely-used jail, spying on the Holy Father.

The truth can be better than fiction and it usually is.

But there is something a little off about this story - at least to this Vatican-watcher. ...

Earlier this year, it was reported that the leaked letters contained the correspondence of an American prelate, Carlo Maria Vigano, working in Rome who told the Holy Father about corruption in the Vatican's money-management. Vignano pleaded with Benedict to hold onto his post so that he could continue the Holy Father's mission of cleaning house, but Vigano was transferred back to the States.

However, there is something about this story that makes little sense. Gabriele is the guy who helps the Pope get dressed, and handles things in the papal apartment. He was also appointed to his role under John Paul II. He absolutely would have access to some of the letters that have been leaked.

But many of the leaks out of the Vatican over the past two years have not been of personal letters to and from the pope, they've been out of the offices of the Vatican's secretary of state. There is not a chance that Gabriele could have access to them.

It would be as if the Obama's personal babysitter suddenly got access to files at the Pentagon. The butler may be guilty. And he may be the one chiefly responsible for the letters published later this month.

But it just isn't plausible that he is the only leaker. The most humiliating leaks have come from inside the curial offices, that is from another high-ranking Cardinal. Perhaps someone who could even become the next Pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Who Is Responsible for Secrecy in the Legionaries of Christ?

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Father Alberto Cutie

The news that Father Alavaro Corcuera (General Director of the Legionaries of Christ) apologized on May 22, 1012 for keeping secret the situation surrounding Father Thomas Williams may have come as a surprise to most people familiar with The Legionaries and Regnum Christi.

Be assured that Father Corcuera is not solely responsible for not revealing this, or any other case, sooner. For years there have been many people in authority above him - including members of the present and past Vatican Curia - who were repeatedly made aware of the struggles and difficulties surrounding the abusive behavior of the founder and other dysfunctions in the Legionaries.

For a variety of reasons, which you can read below, they chose to ignore it and even dismiss and ridicule those who came forward. A visit to the website connected to the new book "La Voluntad de No Saber" (authored by victims of abuse Father Alberto Athie, Jose Barba - along with a historian - Jose M. Gonzalez) will provide you with all the documentation regarding this issue, dating back to1944.

An excerpt from my personal memoir Dilemma: A Priest's Struggle between Faith and Love

"Since the 1970s, rumors had abounded about Father Maciel (founder of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement) working his connections in the Vatican and using money received from the wealthy benefactors of his various movements to buy his way into top Church circles. The Legionaries had become known as "the Millionaires of Christ" even by their own colleagues and supporters in the Vatican. Many clergy criticized them for having fancy air-conditioned buses and for wearing immaculate double-breasted suits, which probably made them the best-dressed religious order on the planet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Colum Kenny: Don't tar all RTE with one brush -- it's time to move on

IRELAND
Irish Independent

RTE's managing director of radio, Clare Duignan, let fly at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications when senators and deputies had a go at RTE.

RTE has angered the public by making unfounded accusations against a Catholic priest. An opinion poll conducted last week for the Sunday Independent shows that most people want the station's chairman, Tom Savage, to resign at this point.

But Duignan is putting distance between those responsible for the debacle and others. Like many RTE programme-makers she is embarrassed by the Prime Time Investigates mess. She herself is the former director of television programmes at RTE.

She reacted fiercely last week when Senator John Whelan referred to "the systematic failures, poor morale, low standards and, in certain quarters, group-think culture which has been spawned by a cult of the clique and cronyism that is alive and well in Montrose and over which he presides".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Takes Combative Turn

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KUNC

By Barbara Bradley Hagerty

A clergy sex-abuse trial in is reaching a crescendo in a Philadelphia courtroom. One defendant is James Brennan, a priest accused of trying to rape a minor, which is not that unusual.

What's drawing attention is the second defendant, Monsignor William Lynn. Lynn is first high-level Catholic official to be criminally prosecuted — not for abusing minors himself, but for failing to protect children from predator priests.

Failure To Protect?

So far, it's been a brutal trial for Lynn. He served as the archdiocese's secretary for clergy between 1992 and 2004, and it was his job to investigate sex abuse claims and protect children.

For eight weeks, prosecutors presented a mountain of evidence — nearly 2,000 documents and some 50 witnesses — that Lynn put the priests and the church ahead of abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Pope's butler arrested over Vatican documents leak

VATICAN CITY
CNN

By Barbie Nadeau, for CNN

Rome (CNN) -- Pope Benedict's butler has been arrested on suspicion of leaking confidential documents to an Italian journalist, the Vatican said Saturday.

Paolo Gabriele, 46, was arrested Wednesday for illegal possession of confidential documents, found in his apartment in Vatican territory, the Vatican said in a statement issued three days later.

Gabriele, who has worked as the papal butler since 2006, is one of only a handful of people with access to the pontiff's private desk.

His job included handing out rosaries to dignitaries and riding in the front seat of the "Popemobile," a vehicle used for public papal appearances, as seen in many photographs showing Gabriele with the pope.

Last month, the Vatican gave Cardinal Julian Herranz a "pontifical mandate" to uncover the source of hundreds of personal letters and confidential documents that have been released to Gianluigi Nuzzi, an Italian journalist and author of "Sua Santita," a book that translates to "His Holiness" and includes the documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Lynn's testimony is a losing gamble

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

Monica Yant Kinney, Inquirer Columnist

Vince Fumo and Msgr. William Lynn have little but Catholicism in common. So why did I keep thinking about the former millionaire state senator as I sat in a Common Pleas courtroom last week watching a priest try to explain away his troubles?

Like Fumo, Lynn gambled on taking the stand in a criminal case involving arrogance, lies, and the shattering of public trust. Both men believed the sound of their voices would sway jurors contemplating sordid tales and exhaustive evidence. Both misjudged their magnetism.

Fumo put on a risky, though riveting, show during his sweeping 2009 corruption trial. He bragged about having a James Brown work ethic. He embraced audacious acts and champagne tastes befitting a man of his political appetite. He now resides in federal prison.

Lynn, by contrast, shuffles to the witness stand wearing a humble collar and the haggard resignation of a middle manager who knows he’s been scapegoated. But as gentle direct questioning segued into a crushing cross-examination, the monsignor’s calculation proved just as costly as Fumo’s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Josh McDowell Launches Website to Fight Porn, 'Church's No. 1 Threat'

UNITED STATES
The Christian Post

By Anugrah Kumar, Christian Post Contributor

Apologist and author Josh McDowell launched Just1ClickAway.org, a new website to raise awareness about online pornography which he says is a problem big enough to cause the downfall of the church.

"The downfall of the church will not come from a lack of apologetic teaching; it will come from disintegration of the families in the church," says a video posted on the website, which was launched this week, just in time for summer vacation when students' media consumption significantly increases.

"The greatest threat to the cause of Christ is pervasive sexuality and pornography," McDowell, known as an articulate speaker, said in a statement Thursday. "Today we have, by and large, lost control of the controls because an intrusive immorality is just one click away from our children. With just one keystroke on a smartphone, iPad, or laptop, a child can open up some of the worst pornography and sexually graphic content you can imagine. There's never been such access in history. "

McDowell, who has written or co-authored 120 books since 1960, backs his claims with stunning statistics about the destructive impact of pornography on the Christian family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Faltering first steps

NEW YORK
New York Post

Posted: May 27, 2012

Brooklyn DA Joe Hynes, under increasing pressure over his office’s handling of child sexual-abuse cases involving the Orthodox Jewish community, has finally taken some positive steps.

Unfortunately, not all those steps are fully in the right direction.

Yes, he publicly warned that rabbis who insist on deciding whether abuse allegations should be reported to police now risk prosecution themselves.

That was aimed directly at Agudath Israel of America, a politically powerful Orthodox group that has demanded such rabbinical pre-clearance in certain cases.

According to The Jewish Week, Hynes informed the group “that it was a mistake to advise someone with information about child abuse to first speak with a rabbi.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 AM

The Optimistic Futurist: Citizens make a difference in fight against child abuse

UNITED STATES
Salisbury Post

Sunday, May 27, 2012

By Francis Koster
www.TheOptimisticFuturist.com

As a futurist, I write about emerging threats, and the need for successful interventions to address them. In that spirit, today I bring good news about something bad.

The United States has begun to turn the tide on how we deal with child abuse. I am not saying the problem is solved — but progress, compared to where we started decades ago, is being made.

The term “child abuse” covers much ground, from lack of food and hygiene to emotional abuse, battery and sexual abuse. Using that big definition, it appears that out of the roughly 75 million Americans under the age of 17, more than 1 million American children are victims of child abuse each year. More than half of the abused are reported to suffer from “neglect”; they were not physically attacked, but they were not fed or supported in ways that their little bodies and minds require. Of the remaining group, about 300,000 suffer physical abuse, about 150,000 suffer emotional abuse, and around 135,000 suffer sexual abuse. Hard to believe these numbers represent progress, but they do.

In 1873, a church volunteer doing a home visit found a 9-year-old girl chained to a bed, malnourished and beaten. The volunteer’s first efforts to rescue the child failed because the law and custom of the day made such behavior within a household a private matter. Local officials ignored the reports, and when an investigation was finally begun, the community leaders failed to follow up. In desperation, the church worker turned to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for help because animals were protected under a better set of laws than children were. ASPCA sued the officials, arguing that humans were animals, too. The resulting publicity successfully rescued the child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Penn State and Catholic Church Child Sex-Abuse Trials Divide Penn. Public

PENNSYLVANIA
The Daily Beast

May 27, 2012

Marci A. Hamilton

Which side are you on? The parallel sex-abuse trials of Msgr. William Lynn and former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky are revealing deep differences among those who once revered both men, writes Marci Hamilton.

It’s been a bad year for Pennsylvania’s most revered institutions. Well-known members of both Penn State University and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been charged with committing or covering up the sexual abuse of children. Just as the unprecedented, months-long trial of Monsignor William Lynn is finishing, Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky is getting ready to face a jury—and each case raises the same core issue: How is an important figure at a high-profile institution able to abuse not one, but a series of children, and not be stopped?

In both cases, public reaction has divided in two, as Penn State fans and Pennsylvania Catholics experience a blend of betrayal, anger, and confusion. Everyone trusted these men.

(Full disclosure: I’m a Penn State graduate, I’m married to a lifelong Philly Catholic, and I serve as co-counsel to victims of both the Philadelphia priests and of Jerry Sandusky—although my clients are not involved in the criminal trials, so I am not subject to the gag orders.)

For three months, Philadelphia prosecutors have been trying Msgr. Lynn on charges that he deliberately and callously endangered children by letting predator priests continue in the ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Jury finds Mahwah minister guilty of sex with underage girl

NEW JERSEY
The Record

BY KIBRET MARKOS
STAFF WRITER
The Record

A Mahwah minister was convicted Thursday of having sex with an underage member of his church almost a decade ago.

Jurors in state Superior Court in Hackensack returned after less than two days of deliberations to find the Reverend Curtis Franklin guilty of second-degree sexual assault.

Franklin looked down and shook his head when the jury forewoman announced the verdict. He was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom after Judge Edward Jerejian revoked his $200,000 bail, ordering him held at the Bergen County Jail pending his Sept. 14 sentencing, when he faces five to 10 years in prison.

Defense attorney Miles Feinstein said he was disappointed with the verdict and that he will file an appeal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

NJ pastor convicted of having sex with girl

NEW JERSEY
WHTM

HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) - A Mahwah pastor has been convicted of having sex with an underage member of his church.

A Bergen County jury convicted the Rev. Curtis Franklin on Thursday after less than two days of deliberations.

Authorities told jurors during a trial that lasted three weeks that Franklin, who was then the pastor at Mahwah Full Gospel Church, began a sexual relationship with a parishioner in 2002 when she was 15 and the relationship lasted until she was 19.

Franklin is 22 years older than the victim.

Franklin's wife and other family members and friends cried as he was led away by sheriff's officers Thursday, according to The Record (http://bit.ly/KT9vr7 ).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

Grace Church pastor to step down to become ministry teacher

TULSA (OK)
Tulsa World

By BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Published: 5/26/2012

The Rev. Bob Yandian, pastor for 32 years of Grace Church, one of Tulsa's largest churches, announced he will step down in one year and that his son will take over the church.

Yandian has deep roots in the Tulsa charismatic/Pentecostal community, where he has a reputation as an excellent Bible teacher.

"I'm not retiring from ministry. I'm retiring from pastoring Grace," Yandian said from the pulpit Sunday. ...

Grace was plunged into a nearly decade-long period of challenges and difficulties in 1992 when one of its teachers was arrested for molesting young boys.

"It was the hardest time we've ever known as a church," Yandian said.

Aaron Thompson is serving a 25-year prison sentence for molesting nine boys over a five-year period.

"It was devastating," Yandian said. "He was the most popular teacher we had."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 AM

Church screens Sunday school teachers

JAMAICA
Sunday Observer

BY NADINE WILSON Sunday Observer reporter wilsonn@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 27, 2012

THE wave of reports of childhood sexual abuse by persons entrusted with their care has prompted church leaders to implement a screening policy for Sunday school teachers and others employed to supervise children.

Two weeks ago, over 30 pastors representing a cross-section of churches across the country, held an emergency summit at the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology (CGST) in Kingston to review policies and implement measures to protect children in the care of church employees.

College president Dr Las Newman said the churches were very troubled by the increasing reports of sexual abuse of children and felt they should play their part in ensuring that children entrusted to their care are protected from sexual predators.

The introduction of the screening policy was accepted as one of the ways to address what many church leaders termed, "the crisis facing the nation."

The policy, Dr Newman said, will apply to pastors, church elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers and youth workers, and will "look at the matter of recruitment and admission, background checks of people, police records and evaluation of people's mental health, and people's emotional health, and people's past relationships with children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

Trial of Irish nun facing 87 sex abuse charges held until 2013

IRELAND
IrishCentral

By
CATHY HAYES,
IrishCentral Staff Writer

Published Saturday, May 26, 2012

County Sligo Circuit Court has heard that the trial of the Irish nun facing 87 charges of sexual abuse will take place over two weeks next year.

The court heard that a number of disclosures had been given to the defense by the prosecution. The case initially came before the courts this March.

Judge Anthony Hunt told the court he hopes the hearing will take place in January or February, the Irish Times reports.

A number of the alleged victims of the nun were present in court on Tuesday.

The alleged offenses date back to the 1970s. The case was transferred from another county following legal action against the nun. Neither she nor her victims can be identified due to legal reasons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

May 26, 2012

Vatican in chaos after butler arrested for leaks

VATICAN CITY
Seattle PI

NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

Updated 05:10 p.m., Saturday, May 26, 2012

VATICAN CITY (AP) — An already sordid scandal over leaked Vatican documents took a Hollywood-like turn Saturday with confirmation that the pope's own butler had been arrested after documents he had no business having were found in his Vatican City apartment.

The detention of butler Paolo Gabriele, one of the few members of the papal household, capped one of the most convulsive weeks in recent Vatican history and threw the Holy See into chaos as it enters a critical phase in its efforts to show the world it's serious about complying with international norms on financial transparency.

The tumult began with the publication last weekend of a book of leaked Vatican documents detailing power struggles, political intrigue and corruption in the highest levels of Catholic Church governance. It peaked with the inglorious ouster on Thursday of the president of the Vatican bank. And it concluded with confirmation Saturday that Pope Benedict XVI's own butler was the alleged mole feeding documents to Italian journalists in an apparent bid to discredit the pontiff's No. 2.

"If you wrote this in fiction you wouldn't believe it," said Carl Anderson, a member of the board of the Vatican bank which contributed to the tumult with its no-confidence vote in its president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi. "No editor would let you put it in a novel."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 PM

Cel en tbs voor ex-pastoor uit Best wegens seksueel misbruik

NEDERLAND
Omroep Brabant

ALMELO - Een uit Best afkomstige voormalig pastoor moet tien maanden de cel in. Ook kreeg hij tbs met dwangverpleging. De rechtbank in Almelo heeft dit bepaald.

Volgens de rechter is er genoeg bewijs dat de man vorig jaar zomer een 12-jarige jongen uit Oldenzaal seksueel heeft misbruikt. Dit was op een camping in Frankrijk. De officier van justitie sprak eerder van een pedofiel, die bewust op zoek is naar jongens rond de twaalf jaar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

KC bishop delegates away diocesan legal authority

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

By Joshua J. McElwee on May. 26, 2012 NCR Today

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In what seems to be a sign that the first bishop criminally charged in the decades-long clergy sex abuse crisis is acknowledging his legal defense may create a conflict of interest with his role as leader of his diocese, Bishop Robert Finn announced Friday creation of a new episcopal vicar with "decision-making" power over the diocese's own legal options.

Both Finn and his Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese face trial this September in Jackson County, Mo., over separate criminal charges of failure to report suspect child abuse concerning their actions regarding a priest arrested last year for possession of child pornography.

The new role, quietly announced Friday afternoon on the website of the diocesan paper, seems to indicate that the diocese and bishop are for the first time publicly recognizing that legal decisions made by one could negatively impact the other.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

MACHIAVELLI BACK IN ROME?

UNITED STATES
Richard Sipe

Gerald T. Slevin

MACHIAVELLI BACK IN ROME? .... The straightforward advice to lie, steal and punish that Machiavelli craftily gave a papally related Prince a half millenium ago is apparently followed today in the Vatican at times more diligently than the Gospel message. This imperial pope is a highly disciplined and demanding World War II veteran who has appointed an obedient and subservient officer corp. He brooks no disobedience or dissent. The increasingly evident corrupt conspiracy that Joseph Ratzinger, the current pope, has effectively overseen for decades in Rome has many branch offices, as we are learning daily, throughout the worldwide Church, including in the US as well as Mexico.

It is important that Catholics see some of the bigger picture so vividly encapsulated locally in Mexico in the sordid Maciel story that has been reported so well by Jason Berry. Incidentally, Canon "L"aw, like "T"radition and "M"agisterium, is mostly whatever the pope in Rome at the time says it is, regardless of Canon Law's (and Tradition's and the Magisterium's) often obvious conflict with the Gospel message and authentic church history. Most clerical scholars appear fearful understandably of pointing out these conflicts.

The Maciel crime story even has a current American connection to, and some parallels with, the currently exploding Philadelphia Archdiocese's priest abuse cover-up scandal.

As Jason Berry reported in his "Vows of Silence" book, a former Mexican seminarian's early report on Maciel's crimes was made in a detailed official letter sent in 1976, almost four decades ago, by Msgr. John Alesandro, then the Chancellor of the Rockville Centre Diocese
on Long Island, NY. The Mexican priest was then resident in the LI Diocese. This Diocese is now run by Bishop Murphy, a long time accomplice of one of the pope's favorite overseers of priest predators, Boston's fugitive Cardinal Law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

A RADICAL LOOK AT TODAY AND TOMORROW

UNITED STATES
Richard Sipe

Santa Clara University
May 11, 2012

Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C.

I want to begin by sharing the nature of my involvement in the phenomenon of sexual abuse by Catholic Clergy. I chose the word "phenomenon" intentionally because I do not believe any of the commonly used descriptors -- "crisis," "scandal," "problem," come even close to naming what this has been and what it is today.

My name is Tom Doyle. I was ordained a Dominican priest in 1970, forty two years ago. I received my doctorate in Canon Law in 1978. I first became involved in the issue of sexual abuse of minors when I had a position at the Vatican embassy in Washington. My initial experiences involved not former Father Gilbert Gauthe from Louisiana, but two bishops, both of whom are now deceased. The year was 1982 but my most intense involvement, shared with Fr. Dr. Michael Peterson and attorney Ray Mouton, began in 1984 and has not ended.
I would like to begin by stating my conclusion. Since 2002 the revelations of widespread sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and religious men and women have spread to Europe, Latin America and to some Asian countries. In the US the Catholic bishops have created a number of programs and policies and have aggressively implemented their "Zero Tolerance" policy. In spite of these policies and the expensive public relations efforts they have implemented, the attitude of the bishops as a collective group has not only not changed but it has gotten worse.

Their disdain for the victims has become more and more obvious. The true measure of their understanding of the horrific nature of the issue and their commitment to change is not the programs, policies, documents or speeches they generate but their unqualified attitude of compassion toward the victims and this is scandalously lacking. The bishops simply don't get it or if they do get it, they don't care.

I have been directly and intimately involved in most dimensions of this travesty. I have been asked by accused priests to help with canonical and fraternal support. I have given workshops and seminars to groups of diocesan and religious priests. I have been an expert witness and a consultant in over a thousand civil and criminal cases throughout the United States, in Canada, Ireland, England, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand. I have been a consultant to or expert witness for several of the grand jury investigations in the U.S. including the Philadelphia grand juries of 2005 and 2011 and most recently I testified at the criminal trial in Philadelphia. I have served as a consultant or expert witness for the government commissions in Ireland beginning with the Ferns Commission and for the Cornwall Inquiry in Canada.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Hynes Warns That Rabbis Could Face Prosecution For First Vetting Abuse Allegations

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hella Winston
Special To The Jewish Week

After months of equivocal statements about Agudath Israel’s longstanding position that — with very limited exception — child sexual abuse allegations must first be investigated by rabbis, the Brooklyn district attorney has issued a clear warning to the haredi umbrella organization that its policy puts rabbis at risk of running afoul of the law.

According to a spokesman for Charles Hynes, “DA Hynes told Dovid Zwiebel [Agudah’s executive vice president] that it was a mistake to advise someone with information about child abuse to first speak with a rabbi.” In doing so, the spokesman, Jerry Schmetterer, continued, “Zwiebel … risks having the rabbi prosecuted for obstructing a law enforcement investigation.”

When asked by The Jewish Week to clarify what someone should do if he or she had information about allegations — rather than “information” — about abuse, Schmetterer said the individual should “report [the allegations] to authorities for investigation.”
James A. Cohen, associate professor of law and the director of the Trial Advocacy Program & External Affairs at Fordham University School of Law, concurs with the district attorney’s position. “Encouraging delay in reporting a crime, particularly a crime against a child, is obstructing justice,” Cohen told The Jewish Week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

First of What May Be Dozens of Child Sex Abuse and Cover Up Lawsuits Filed Under New Unusual Hawaii Law

HAWAII
Damon Tucker: Hawaii News and Island Information

The first of what may be dozens of child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits was filed yesterday under an unusual new Hawaii law.

That measure lets adults who were molested as kids take legal action even decades after the violations took place.

An Oahu resident and former Damien Memorial High School student sued the Diocese of Honolulu charging that he was sexually assaulted as a child by Fr. Gerald Funcheon, a Crosier priest and former Damien chaplain in 1983 and 1984. The alleged crimes happened on an overnight retreat with the cleric on the Oahu eastern shore when the victim was 13 years old.

According to public documents and the lawsuit, church officials already knew that Funcheon was abusing prescription drugs and alcohol and had allegations of inappropriate behavior with children well before he was sent to Damien

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:43 PM

“The usual nest of vipers, but today the real problem is rampant mediocrity”

ITALY
Vatican Insider

Michele Brambilla
Lonato (Brescia)

“I’ve spent my life studying the history of the Church and attending Church, though more sparingly. I’m hardly going to be shocked.” Vittorio Messori is in the abbey of Maguzzano, a wonder nestled between the Moraine hills and Garda Lake, a place that the history of the Church has crisscrossed for 15 centuries, from St. Benedict to St John Calabria. Here, Messori has set up a study where he can take refuge when he is under pressure: like now, when he has only a few weeks before he has to deliver a book on Lourdes to Italian publisher Mondadori, a project that is very dear to his heart. Its title is Bernadette did not deceive us.

Is someone in the Vatican deceiving us instead? I ask Messori what a practicing Catholic may feel when hearing of how cardinals fight each other tooth and nail, when hearing of files slipped to journalists, of letters stolen from the Pope, of bank intrigues, murderers buried with state honours. “The Roman Curia,” he answers, “has always been a viper’s nest. However, in the past at least, it was the most efficient state organisation in the world. It ran an empire the sun never set on and it had an unparalleled diplomatic corps. What is left of that today?”

Strolling along the cloisters and then among the olive trees, this is how Messori describes the decadence: “The priests in the Roman Curia used to enlist the best people from all the dioceses in the world. Bishops had plenty of clergy around them and had no problem letting them go. Today seminaries have either closed or they’re half empty. So if a bishop has a good priest to hand, he keeps hold of him. And the Pope is like Charles V, who had to run a vast empire and cried out in a depopulated Spain: ‘Give me men’.” But in Africa, I try to object... “The boom in vocations? I’m not kidding myself. In Africa men enter the seminary for the same reasons they did here when we were dying of hunger. It’s a way of making a living. And apart from that, celibacy is incomprehensible for African culture so the Church – let’s put it this way – turns a blind eye. Many priests have wives and children. What are you going to do, send them to Rome? To be bishops?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:40 PM

Vatican leak inquiry: Confessor defends Pope’s butler

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The confessor of the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, springs to his defence: “He is in love with the Church and adores the Pope”

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

The voice of the elderly priest - who wished to remain anonymous - sounded broken from all the crying, as he spoke to Italian newspaper La Stampa, from his home in the Vatican. During the telephone interview he described what he knew about Benedict XVI’s 46 year old butler, Paolo Gabriele, husband and father of three, who was arrested after he was found in “illegal possession of confidential documents.” Like many in the Holy See, the monsignor is scared and still in shock after yesterday’s events.

“I have known Paolo for many years; - he confided – if the accusations against him prove to be true, there will be no one left to trust any more. I still remember when, some years back, he used to arrive at the Secretariat of State’s offices with his black apron, to clean the floors.”

The prelate recounted how at one time he had been the confessor of this man who eventually left his clearing apron behind, replacing it with an immaculate black suit as he went on to become the papal butler, the lay person closet to the Pope, the man who serves the Pope at his table every day. “I was his confessor at one time and I can say in all faith that the impression he has always given me is that of a man who is in love with the Church and deeply devoted to the Pope, first to John Paul II and now to Benedict XVI,” he added. The person who helped the young “Paoletto” to enter to serve in the Vatican is the rector of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Sassia, just a stone throw away from Via della Conciliazione and St. Peter’s Square. The Church is dedicated to the worship of the Divine Mercy of St. Faustina Kowalska and is very dear to the Poles.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:35 PM

Paolo Gabriele: from papal butler to accused traitor

VATICAN CITY
Chicago Tribune

[with video]

Philip Pullella
Reuters

11:06 a.m. CDT, May 26, 2012

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Paolo Gabriele was always a reserved, almost shy man, as his position required. He had access to the most private rooms in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace - Pope Benedict's apartment.

But what could have prompted the pope's butler, who was formally charged by Vatican magistrates on Saturday with illegal possession of secret documents, to betray the man who trusted him?

Was it money? Probably not.

Gianluigi Nuzzi, the Italian journalist who revealed some of the leaked documents alleging corruption in the Vatican and internal conflict over the role of the Vatican bank, declines to reveal his sources but insists he gave no money to them.

Nuzzi, a respected journalist with a good track record whose book "His Holiness" contains some of the allegations, says those who gave him the documents were devout people "genuinely concerned about the Catholic Church" who wanted to expose corruption.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 PM

Vatican confirms pope's butler arrested in scandal

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican confirmed on Saturday that the pope's butler has been arrested in its embarrassing leaks scandal, adding a Hollywood twist to a sordid tale of power struggles, intrigue and corruption in the highest levels of Catholic Church governance.

Paolo Gabriele, a layman and member of the papal household, was arrested Wednesday after secret documents were found in his Vatican City apartment and was continuing to be held Saturday, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

Gabriele is often seen by Pope Benedict XVI's side in public, riding in the front seat of his open-air jeep during Wednesday general audiences or shielding the pontiff from the rain. He has been the pope's personal butler since 2006, one of the few members of the small papal household that also includes the pontiff's private secretaries and four consecrated women who care for the papal apartment.

His arrest followed another stunning development at the Vatican this week, the ouster of the president of the Vatican bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, by his board. Sources close to the investigation said he, too, was found to have leaked documents, though the official reason for his ouster was that he simply failed to do his job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

DICHIARAZIONE DEL DIRETTORE DELLA SALA STAMPA, P. FEDERICO LOMBARDI, S.I., SULLE INDAGINI CIRCA LA DIVULGAZIONE DI DOCUMENTI RISERVATI

CITTA DEL VATICANO
Bolletino

Confermo che la persona arrestata mercoledì sera per possesso illecito di documenti riservati, rinvenuti nella sua abitazione in territorio vaticano, è il Sig. Paolo Gabriele, che rimane tuttora in stato di detenzione.

Si è conclusa la prima fase di "istruttoria sommaria" sotto la direzione del Promotore di Giustizia, prof. Nicola Picardi, e si è avviata la fase di "istruttoria formale" condotta dal Giudice istruttore, prof. Piero Antonio Bonnet.

L’imputato ha nominato due avvocati di sua fiducia, abilitati ad agire presso il Tribunale vaticano, e ha avuto la possibilità di incontrarli. Essi potranno assisterlo nelle successive fasi del procedimento. Egli gode di tutte le garanzie giuridiche previste dai codici penale e di procedura penale in vigore nello Stato della Città del Vaticano.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:46 AM

Guest column: Chaput’s top priority is to protect children

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Times

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2012

By MAUREEN PAUL TURLISH
Times Guest Columnist

One of the most egregious and telling examples of what has been happening in the institutional Roman Catholic Church worldwide is what has been happening in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since the Boston, Mass., Archdiocese imploded in 2002.

In an article, “The crisis of credibility in Philadelphia,” published in the National Catholic Reporter on 10/28/2005.

I quoted Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua’s words to a CNN reporter. Bevilacqua said, “We are all agreed that no priest guilty of even one act of sexual abuse of a minor will function in any ecclesial ministry or any capacity in our diocese.”

Events following that April 2002 statement have shown in excruciating detail that Cardinal Bevilacqua’s words did not accurately describe the actions of the Philadelphia hierarchy then or during the ten years that followed.

Events since 2002 include:

-- Three grand juries being convened to investigate the Archdiocese of Philadelphia resulting in reports published in 2005 and again in 2011,

-- The release of depositions given by Cardinal Bevilacqua and some of his auxiliary bishops,

-- Denials by Cardinal Justin Rigali shortly after the second grand jury was released in February 2011 that no suspected, credibly accused of known sexual predators were in ministry,

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Wirral priest Father Peter Hooper priest admits having sex with 14-year-old boy<

UNITED KINGDOM
Liverpool Echo

•by Gary Stewart, Liverpool Echo
•May 26 2012

A MERSEYSIDE priest was told he is facing a lengthy jail sentence after admitting having sex with an underage boy.

Father Peter Hooper from St Luke’s Church in Bebington, Wirral, pleaded guilty to ten charges involving sexual activity with the teenager and inciting him to engage in such activity.

The offences are alleged to have take place at the St Luke the Physician diocese house in Church Road, Bebington, where regular masses are held in a small chapel.

The charges, involving the boy when he was aged 14 and 15, span a six month period ending on May 5 this year.

Legionaries of Christ ending their role in Sacramento area

CALIFORNIA
The Modesto Bee

By Carlos Alcalá
calcala@sacbee.com

The Legionaries of Christ are withdrawing from Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, ending the prominent Catholic religious order's presence in the Sacramento region.

The change, effective July 1, follows the order's decision last year to close two schools here.

The Legionaries have endured controversy and scandal in the past decade involving some of their best-known leaders.

Local officials say the local withdrawal is a product of the order shrinking and re-evaluating where to focus its priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Diarmuid Martin refuses to back Cardinal Sean Brady over church sexual abuse

IRELAND
IrishCentral

By
CATHY HAYES,
IrishCentral.com Staff Writer

Published Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said he would not publicly back the Primate of All-Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady in the wake of further allegations that he failed to disclose information about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church during the 1970s.

Martin said the challenges facing the Catholic Church in Ireland were not solely about one person.

Speaking at the annual child protection update of the Archdiocese of Dublin he told the press: “Cardinal Brady has said that he is staying and that he has lots of support from people; I've never commented and I don't know anything of those details... made no comments on other bishops.”

Earlier this month Martin has said it would not be appropriate for him to comment on Brady’s position.

Brady has kept a low profile following the airing of a BBC documentary “This World: The Shame of the Catholic Church." The documentary raised concerns over the fact that Brady had failed to warn the church, parents and victims about notorious paedophile Father

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Magdalenes group hits out at Government

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta

Friday, May 25, 2012

Justice for Magdalenes (JFM) has hit out at the Government’s failure to provide redress and an independent investigation into the abuse carried out in Magdalene Laundries.

The group made the criticisms after issuing a summary of its submissions to the inter-departmental committee set up to “clarify” any state involvement in the Magdalene Laundries.

In a comprehensive document, complete with Magdalene survivor testimony and clear examples, JFM outline “clear evidence” of state involvement in the operation of Magdalene Laundries in three main respects:

* The state was involved in sending women and young girls to the institutions and ensuring they remained there. This was done to deal with social problems;

* The state also provided the religious orders with direct and indirect financial support: direct financial support from “capitation” (per head) grants for certain of the women and girls incarcerated in the Magdalene Laundries; and indirect financial support in terms of valuable state contracts for the cleaning laundry;

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

The (Pope’s) butler did it?

VATICAN CITY
Seattle PI

A butler in the Apostolic Palace of Pope Benedict XVI has been arrested by Vatican security on suspicion that he is the “Deep Throat” who leaked documents on the Vatican’s internal strife to Italian newspapers earlier this year.

The arrest came on the same day that Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, president of the Vatican Bank was forced out by its directors for “failure to fulfill various primary functions of his office.”

John Allen, Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, summed up the situation by writing: “Perhaps, it would be more accurate, albeit a bit crude, to say all Hell is breaking loose in the Holy See.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Profile: Pope's butler Paolo Gabriele

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

By David Willey
BBC News, Rome

You may have seen pictures of Paolo Gabriele, the 46-year-old, impeccably dressed black-suited Italian arrested on suspicion of stealing secret Vatican correspondence, without recognising who he is.

He is the Pope's closest private servant - his valet or, if you prefer a conventional English title, his butler.

He lives in the Pope's shadow and has always been at hand to smooth the pontiff's path through his multiple official duties - in public and in private.

Each morning he helps Pope Benedict to dress, and attends his early morning private mass. He usually serves the Pope's meals, and sometimes is invited to sit at the Pope's table.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Altarcations debuts at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 25, 2012

“A bishop. A priest. A woman. A boy.”

My friend Steve Julian‘s play Altarcations will debut in June at the 2012 Hollywood Fringe Festival. I met Steve (whom some of you may recognize as the morning host of KPCC‘s Morning Edition) after I “outed” one of his former high school teachers as an admitted perpetrator in the New York Times. When he told me about this play, I flipped (in a very good way). I’ve been lucky enough to see early drafts and talk to him about the progression of the play and the growth of the characters.

It’s going to be an amazing production.

Then I found out the play had been accepting into the Hollywood Fringe Festival. I flipped again.

The play runs from June 8 to 14 at The Actors Circle Theater. Tickets are a VERY AFFORDABLE $10 to $15. You need to go. And then you need to tell your friends to go. You can buy tickets here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Wenn Sex und Intrigen nicht im Beichtstuhl bleiben

DEUTSCHLAND
Legal Tribune

Köln ermittelt, Tatort soll Essen sein: Ein Kaplan soll geplaudert haben. Über sexuelle Vorlieben, seinen ehemaligen Vorgesetzen und homosexuelle Kontaktbörsen. Die Kenntnisse von diesen Gerüchten soll er aus dem Beichtstuhl haben. Norbert Diel über kirchenrechtliche Konsequenzen des Verrats von Geheimnissen zwischen Mensch und Gott.

Im Bistum Essen werden schwerwiegende Vorwürfe gegen einen Kaplan erhoben: Er soll einen Beichtenden gezielt nach sexuellen Vorlieben seines ehemaligen Vorgesetzten, des inzwischen versetzten Pfarrers der Gemeinde, ausgehorcht und diese Informationen nachher genutzt haben, um den Geistlichen, aber auch andere Personen direkt damit zu konfrontieren.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Mehr Schutz vor sexuellem Missbrauch im Netz nötig

DEUTSCHLAND
Kirchen Site

Berlin. Internationale Experten fordern einen besseren Schutz von Kindern vor sexuellem Missbrauch im Internet. Wie eine in Berlin vorgestellte qualitative Studie im Auftrag der EU-Kommission ergab, experimentieren Kinder und Jugendliche leichtfertig mit der Selbstdarstellung im Netz und probieren häufig online aus, wie sie auf andere Personen reagieren.

Je jünger Kinder online agierten, umso größer sei die Gefahr, Opfer sexueller Übergriffe zu werden. Mädchen seien gefährdeter als Jungen - ebenso wie unsichere, weniger selbstbewusste Kinder. Für die Studie wurden gut 200 Jugendliche aus sechs Ländern im Alter von 12 bis 18 Jahren befragt, darunter auch Missbrauchsopfer, sowie Onlinetäter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

«Wer nicht sprechen kann, kann nicht hören»

DEUTSCHLAND
Kirke Heute

Sein Brief an potenzielle Betroffene sexueller Übergriffe im Berliner Canisius-Kolleg löste im Januar 2010 eine Lawine aus. Letzte Woche sprach Jesuitenpater Klaus Mertes in Basel zu «Macht, Sexualität und Kirche» und beklagte die Herz- und Sprachlosigkeit der Kirche, wenn es um das Thema Sexualität geht.

Es begann am 14. Januar 2010 mit dem Besuch dreier ehemaliger Schüler des Berliner Jesuitengymnasium Canisius-Kolleg, die Klaus Mertes, dem damaligen Rektor, vom sexuellen Missbrauch durch zwei frühere Lehrkräfte berichteten. Am 20. Januar 2010 wandte sich Mertes mit einem Brief an rund 600 Schüler der potenziell betroffenen Jahrgänge. Es kam, wie es kommen musste: Der Brief gelangte an die Öffentlichkeit, und mit der Publikation am 28. Januar 2010 in der Berliner Morgenpost brach der Sturm los. Zweck des Briefs sei es gewesen, den möglichen Betroffenen Ansprechbarkeit zu signalisieren, sagte Mertes in seinem Vortrag in der Veranstaltungsreihe «Uni.Sex» der Katholischen Universitätsgemeinde Basel.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Missbrauch in Fritzlar: Täter ist kein Priester mehr

DEUTSCHLAND
HNA

Fritzlar. Hansjörg L, der wegen des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern in 155 Fällen verurteilt worden ist, ist kein Priester mehr. Er gehört auch dem Orden der Prämonstratenser nicht mehr an, sagte der Abt des Ordens, Michael K. Proházka o.praem., auf Anfrage der HNA.

Die Entlassung aus dem Priesterstand und der Rauswurf aus dem Orden sind aus kirchenrechtlicher Sicht die härtesten Strafen. Der Betroffene verliert damit alle Rechte des geistlichen Standes. Möglich wären im Kirchenrecht auch Geldstrafen und diverse Auflagen gewesen. Von einem weltlichen Gericht war der ehemalige Fritzlarer Priester zu sieben Jahren Haft verurteilt worden. Er war unter anderem für die Ministranten zuständig gewesen.

Für die Jahre, in denen Hansjörg L., dessen Ordensname Herr Michael war, Mitglied des Ordens der Prämonstratenser war, werde Geld in die Sozialkasse eingezahlt, erläuterte Abt Proházka.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Priest guilty of assault

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gmurray@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Rev. Charles M. Abdelahad, longtime pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, was sentenced to serve 90 days of a two-year jail term yesterday after being found guilty of physically assaulting a female parishioner during counseling sessions.

The 56-year-old priest, now on a leave of absence, was accused of physically and sexually abusing the 45-year-old woman during about three years’ worth of counseling sessions at the church on Anna Street. The sessions began in 2007 and were aimed at treating the victim’s eating disorder.

Judge Andrew M. D’Angelo, who presided over the priest’s jury-waived trial in Central District Court, found Rev. Abdelahad guilty of one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot) for kicking the woman and one count of assault and battery for biting her.

Judge D’Angelo acquitted Rev. Abdelahad on charges of indecent assault and battery, four additional counts of assault and battery and three additional counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The judge sentenced Rev. Abdelahad to two years in the House of Correction, with 90 days to be served, on the assault and battery charge. The balance of the sentence was suspended for three years with probation. Judge D’Angelo imposed a concurrent term of three years’ probation on the assault and battery charge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Gov. signs law requiring mandatory reporting of sexual abuse

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WAFB

By WAFB Staff

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -
Governor Bobby Jindal signed legislation Friday requires eyewitnesses of sexual abuse to report the abuse to authorities. This law will toughen penalties for those who don't report the abuse.

The legislation – HB 577 by Representative Joseph Lopinto – is part of the Governor's 2012 legislative package.

In a news release Friday, Governor Jindal said, "We have a moral duty to protect our children. This new law will ensure that suspected cases of abuse are reported to the proper authorities and will punish those who fail to report these monstrous acts."

The new law penalizes any adult eyewitness to sexual abuse who fails to report to authorities. The failure to report would be a felony, with imprisonment up to five years and/or a fine of up to ten thousand dollars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Law profs say Markey's bill can protect children

NEW YORK
Legislative Gazette

By Alli Sofer

May 25, 2012
Spotlighting childhood sexual abuse, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey hosted a roundtable discussion on the importance of the Child Victims' Act of New York, a bill that would extend the statute of limitations in cases of childhood sexual assault.

Roundtable speakers included Markey, D-Maspeth; moderator Melissa Breger, professor at Albany Law School; Marci Hamilton, professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law; Shannon Sarfoh, assistant district attorney and bureau chief of the special victims unit; and Carmen Durso, a member of the Massachusetts bar.

Markey has been pushing legislation (A.5488) to create a one-year window in which any victim of sexual abuse, regardless of when the abuse occurred, can file a civil suit against their abuser. Markey's bill also extends the criminal and civil statute of limitations by five years. The current statute is five years after the attack or five years after the victim turns age 18, giving them until age 23 to file a claim. Markey's legislation would begin the statute at age 23 and end at age 28.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Correction: California Church Abuse story

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Washington Post

By Associated Press, Published: May 25

LOS ANGELES — In a story May 22 about internal files of nine Franciscan priests that were released as part of a sexual abuse lawsuit settlement in California, The Associated Press incorrectly spelled the name of the attorney for the Roman Catholic order. His name is Brian Brosnahan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Victims blast Catholic officials and seek action

NEW MEXICO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Blaine on May 25, 2012

We are members of an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Our mission is to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. That’s why we’re here today outside the Catholic Center offices in Albuquerque.

Next month, America’s Catholic bishops will puff out their chests and brag about their massive public relations moves – the policies, panels and procedures they belatedly set up a decade ago when facing unprecedented pressure for ignoring and concealing horrific child sex crimes for decades. But what’s sorely missing is real action, especially simple, proven action to:

• -Help warn parishioners and the public about predators, and
• - Remove priests who pose a danger from ministry and monitor them to ensure they don’t hurt more kids.
-That’s why we’re here today – to warn Catholics and citizens about two child molesting clerics and to seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered their crimes. Specifically, we’re here to urge New Mexico’s Catholic bishops to
• -Use their vast resources to more aggressively seek out others who may have been hurt by two New Mexico clerics, and
• -Permanently post on their websites the names of all credibly accused predator priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

SNAP wants more transparency from church

NEW MEXICO
KOAT

By Todd Unger

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -
SNAP, a leading group of sexual abuse victims and advocates, says it wants more transparency from officials in the Catholic church.

Protesting outside of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe on Friday afternoon, the group's president Barbara Blaine said it was time for Archbishop Michael Sheehan to take a more active role.

Specifically, Blaine said he should publish the name of credibly accused priests on the archdiocese website. She also wants to see rewards handed out to parishioners who expose abuse.

The archdiocese didn't respond to requests for comment about the protest, but over the past decade it has routinely said it's committed to stomping out abuse throughout the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Bishops 'not obliged' to report sexual abuse to police

ITALY
Belfast Telegraph

Saturday, 26 May 2012

The Italian Bishop’s Conference (CIE) has issued guidelines on child protection that inform its bishops that they are ‘not obliged to report illicit facts’ of child abuse to the police.

The new guidelines were released recently after the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith advised every Bishop Conference to create a document covering Child Protection if they did not already have one.

One of the conferences that was void of such documentation was the CEI which works under Pope Benedict XVI.

In their new five page document which advised Italian Bishops on how to deal with paedophilia they failed to focus on one of the most important and obvious means of combating the crime – informing police authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Bishops discuss challenges ahead with Pope

MALTA
Times of Malta

Archbishop Paul Cremona and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech will go to the Vatican tomorrow to report on the state of their dioceses. They do so in accordance with Church law that lays down that, every five years, a diocesan bishop must make a report to the Supreme Pontiff on the state of the diocese entrusted to him.

The ad limina apostolorum, as these visits are known in Church language, is primarily a manifestation and a means of communion between the bishops and the Chair of Peter. It is an occasion that has three principal moments, each one of them having its own proper meaning. ...

The problems are not limited to the traumatic experiences caused by certain high-profile issues, such as the scandals of the sexual abuse of minors within the Church’s fold, the impact of the divorce referendum result and the controversies involving Church teaching regarding IVF and same-sex unions.

There are, of course, other problems that need to be addressed, including that of people distancing themselves from the Church for personal reasons. These vary from religious indifference or a lukewarm spirit to a feeling that, in certain areas, Catholicism is merely “a collection of prohibitions”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Lawsuit claims abuse by former Honolulu priest

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

[the lawsuit]

[documents]

HONOLULU (AP) - Attorneys have filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man alleging sexual abuse by a priest at a Honolulu all-boys Catholic school in the 1980s.

The lawsuit filed in Circuit Court in Honolulu Thursday claims the then-13-year-old boy was abused during an overnight retreat by Rev. Gerald Funcheon, a former chaplain and teacher Damien Memorial School.

The lawsuit doesn't name the plaintiff, now an adult living in Honolulu.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says this is the first lawsuit under a new Hawaii law providing a 2-year window for claims of sexual abuse against minors to be made, even if the statute of limitations has lapsed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Priest busted for sex abuse ten years ago now working for the TSA at Philly airport

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
New York Daily News

By Rheana Murray / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Published: Friday, May 25, 2012

A Catholic priest removed from the ministry ten years ago for sexually abusing young girls has found another job — with the TSA.

Thomas Harkins, once a priest at churches throughout South Jersey, now works as a TSA supervisor at the Philadelphia International Airport, CBS Philly reports.

He was forced to leave the church in 2002, when the Diocese of Camden found him guilty of sexually abusing two young girls.

Now, a third alleged victim has come forward, according to the station.

In a new lawsuit, Harkins is accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl as many as 15 times between 1980 and 1981. One of the alleged incidents occurred in Harkins’ bedroom at the rectory of Saint Anthony of Padua parish in Hammonton, N.J, where Harkins worked at the time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Decades Old Priest Sex Abuse Case Delayed for Psych Report

CALIFORNIA
Patch

By Paige Austin

May 25, 2012

It’s been 20 years since Leisure World resident and former priest Denis Lyons began molesting a nine-year-old altar boy at his Costa Mesa parish St. John the Baptist Church.

Since that time, the sexual abuse scandal rocked the Catholic Church, and laws were changed to free victims from the narrow window that the statute of limitations placed on child sex crimes. Lyons’ story reverberates the church wide scandal, the legal evolution and the private saga of the former altar boys who accuse him of molestation.

Looking every bit his 78 years, Lyons sat in an empty 11th floor courtroom Friday morning. His hands crossed, his eyes downcast, Lyons waited to hear his sentence while listening to attorneys chatter about murder, torture and drug cases. Wearing blue slacks and a sports coat, he shuffled back and forth to the bathroom while waiting for his sentencing, but it was postponed until August when an official psychiatric evaluation can be submitted to complete the case.

Lyons was scheduled to be sentenced for molesting a boy in the church rectory for years between 1992 and 1995. He faces a year in jail, having pleaded guilty to four counts of molestation in a deal that spares him a trial and the specter of 14 years in prison if convicted by a jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Ex-Omaha priest gets 60 years in plot to kill accuser

DALLAS (TX)
Omaha World-Herald

From Staff and Wire Reports

DALLAS — A Texas jury has sentenced an Omaha native who had served as a priest in Nebraska to 60 years in prison for plotting the death of a Texas man who accused him of sexual abuse.

Prosecutors had asked jurors for a life sentence for John M. Fiala, 53. His alleged rape at gunpoint of a 16-year-old youth in 2007 and 2008 and subsequent conspiracy to have the accuser murdered occurred in Texas after Fiala had left Nebraska and the Archdiocese of Omaha. Fiala's defense attorney had said any sentence longer than 15 years would be a “travesty.”

Fiala, who was removed from his priestly duties in the fall of 2008, will be eligible for parole after 15 years. Fiala was convicted May 17 for solicitation of capital murder.

Prosecutors said Fiala tried to hire a neighbor's brother to kill the man who accused him of abuse in 2008 when Fiala was the priest at a rural West Texas parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Boys’ Ranch reaches deal

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman Review

John Stucke
The Spokesman-Review

Nineteen lawsuits against the Morning Star Boys’ Ranch have been settled, part of a larger settlement that’s expected to sew shut all of the outstanding legal issues surrounding the clergy sex abuse problems of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane.

The seven years of litigation damaged the reputation of Morning Star and its revered longtime director, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, who had been affectionately called Father Joe by legions of former ranch residents, Catholic parishioners and supporters.

Financial terms of the settlements have yet to be made public, however the ranch had multiple insurance policies and its foundation controlled about $10.6 million in assets, according to tax records.

Morning Star came under scrutiny in 2005 when The Spokesman-Review began reporting on sex abuse accusations made by former residents. Many said they were beaten, molested and raped by Weitensteiner, now-deceased counselor Doyle Gillum and notorious pedophile priest Patrick O’Donnell.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

"Unorthodox" priest still practising after sexually abusing woman

UNITED KINGDOM
Your Local Guardian

An Ethiopian Orthodox priest who sexually abused a parishioner during a depraved baptism ritual has avoided a jail term and is continuing to practise.

Gebrehana Semre of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church in St Phillips Square, Battersea, was handed a 12-month prison sentence last week, suspended for 18 months, after being convicted of assaulting the woman.

In September 2010, Semre used his position within the church to invite himself into the victim's home in order to bless the house and baptise her.

The 47-year-old priest, from Battersea, told the vulnerable woman she needed to be naked in order for the ceremony to be authentic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

May 25, 2012

Vatican butler arrested in documents leak

VATICAN CITY
Los Angeles Times

By Sarah Delaney, Los Angeles Times

May 25, 2012
ROME — As it turns out, the butler did it. At least that's who the papal police force believes is responsible for the recent leaks of personal papal correspondence that has shed unwanted light on power struggles and alleged corruption within the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Friday that the internal police had arrested a man who worked in the Vatican on suspicion of pilfering and leaking private documents belonging to Pope Benedict XVI. The unauthorized release of private papal documents is unprecedented, at least in recent memory, piercing the veil of legendary Vatican secrecy.

Italian news reports identified the suspect as Paolo Gabriele, a butler in the papal household who, as a personal servant of Pope Benedict, would have had direct access to his belongings.

Benedict said he was "saddened and struck" by the news of the arrest, according to news reports.

The arrest followed several months of revelations of letters to the pope and others, written by various figures, that indicate conflict among the factions within Vatican City's massive walls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 PM

Pope’s Butler Arrested in Vatican Letters Leak

VATICAN CITY
The New York Times

By RACHEL DONADIO

Published: May 25, 2012

ROME — A mysterious source named Maria. A room furnished with a single chair, where sensitive Vatican documents are turned over to an investigative journalist at regular meetings. The arrest of the pope’s butler. Perhaps the greatest breach in centuries in the wall of secrecy that surrounds the Vatican.

An on-again, off-again scandal that the Italian press has called Vatileaks burst into the open on Friday with the arrest by Vatican gendarmes of the butler, identified in news reports as Paolo Gabriele, who the Vatican said was in possession of confidential documents and was suspected of leaking private letters addressed to Pope Benedict XVI.

The arrest follows by a day the ouster of the president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, amid conflicts over how to bring the secretive institution in line with international transparency standards and days after the publication of a sensational book, “Your Holiness: The Secret Papers of Benedict XVI,” in which the journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, aided by “Maria,” discloses a huge cache of private Vatican correspondence, many with allegations of mismanagement at the Vatican bank and cases of corruption and cronyism.

The letters, which have made their way into the Italian news media in recent months, draw a portrait of an ancient institution in chaotic disarray behind its high, stately walls, where various factions vie for power, influence and financial control in the twilight years of Benedict’s papacy.

“Of course there are problems, big problems,” said Andrea Tornielli, a Vatican expert for the Italian daily La Stampa and its Web site, Vatican Insider. “What is happening now shows that there’s a crisis.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

What the Pope's butler saw – aide arrested over Vatican leaks

VATICAN CITY
The Independent (United Kingdom)

Michael Day
Milan

Saturday 26 May 2012

Vatican police yesterday seized Pope Benedict's butler in connection with a series of embarrassing leaks on alleged corruption, infighting and mismanagement that have emerged about the Holy See over the past year.

The arrest of Paolo Gabriele came after the decision by the Pontiff last month to set up a special commission of cardinals to smoke out the mole responsible for the highly publicised revelations.

"The inquiry carried out by Vatican police... allowed them to identify someone in possession of confidential documents," the Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told journalists. Senior officials had recently railed against leaking sensitive documents as "a criminal act".

News of the papal butler's arrest brought more drama to a week that has already seen the scandal-struck Vatican bank embroiled in fresh controversy. Rising tensions over plans to make the institution conform to international standards of transparency were blamed for Thursday's sacking of its chief Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.

The respected financier was ousted after months of internal battles following his insistence on applying the anti-money laundering rules demanded by the European Commission. Mr Gotti Tedeschi, 67, an expert on financial ethics, was put in charge of the bank – also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) – in 2009, specifically to clean-up its reputation.

His plan to introduce transparency was at first agreed by key figures at the Vatican, including the powerful secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. But when Mr Gotti Tedeschi insisted that the anti-corruption regulations should be retroactive, Cardinal Bertone and other key figures are thought to have turned against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

A banker, a butler and a businessman: the strange goings on in Vatican City

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

The reported arrest of the pope’s butler comes amid a week of drama at the Vatican, writes PADDY AGNEW in Rome

PERHAPS NOT since the days, 30 years ago, when the Vatican’s Bank, IOR, made all the worst possible headlines because of its heavy involvement in the downfall of Roberto Calvi’s Banco Ambrosiano, have there been any developments in Vatican City quite as sensational as yesterday’s.

Widespread, insistent but officially unconfirmed media reports claimed the pope’s personal butler, Paolo Gabriele, had been arrested by the Vatican Gendarmerie, charged with having stolen private papers and documentation from the papal household.

Although the Vatican would not confirm the arrest of Mr Gabriele, senior spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi confirmed “a person illegally in possession of private documents has been arrested”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Pa. Monsignor On Trial For Covering Up Sex Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NPR

[with audio]

May 24, 2012

Monsignor William Lynn, the highest ranking Catholic official to be criminally tried for covering up child sex abuse by priests, faced fierce questioning in a Philadelphia courtroom on Thursday. Lynn handled the sex abuse claims when he was secretary for clergy for more than a decade.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

And we go next to the trial of Monsignor William Lynn. He's the highest ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to be criminally tried for covering up child sex abuse by priests. His case is being heard right now in Philadelphia, and today, he faced fierce questioning. Monsignor Lynn handled sex abuse claims when he was secretary for clergy in Philadelphia's archdiocese. He's been charged with conspiracy and child endangerment.

NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty was in the courtroom today and joins us now. And, Barbara, to start, remind us the background of this case.

BARBARA BRADLEY HAGERTY, BYLINE: Sure, Audie. This stems from a grand jury report - actually a couple of them that found that many priests who are accused of abuse were still in ministry. And so prosecutors looked into it, and it turned out that only two of those cases of priests were fresh enough, that hadn't passed the statute of limitations. And so, this case is about those sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Priest with Cape ties faces abuse allegation

FALMOUTH (MA)
Cape Cod Times

By SEAN TEEHAN

May 25, 2012

The Archdiocese of Boston put a senior priest who sometimes worked in a Falmouth Catholic Church on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual abuse of a child.

The allegation against the Rev. Joseph F. Byrne stems from alleged conduct in the early 1970s a statement from the Archdiocese said. Officials at the Archdiocese were recently notified of the complaint and immediately alerted law enforcement, the statement said.

Byrne will remain on administrative leave with no public ministry pending the outcome of a preliminary investigation of the allegation, the statement said.

“We remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions,” said Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley in a statement. “I know the faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese join me in this pledge of prayerful support.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

Accused Mass. priest has pleaded to embezzlement

MASSACHUSETTS
San Antonio Express-News

FALMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A Cape Cod priest who pleaded no contest seven years ago to embezzling $135,000 from his former parish has been placed on leave after a child sex abuse allegation.

The Boston Archdiocese said Friday that it's removed The Rev. Joseph Byrne from public ministry pending an investigation. The archdiocese said the retired priest had "limited ministry" at St. Patrick's Church in Falmouth.

The archdiocese said the new allegation against Byrne dates to the early 1970s, but was just recently reported.

In June 2005, Byrne was sentenced to five years probation after pleading no contest to embezzling $135,000 from Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted parish in Waltham. Prosecutors said between 1997 and 2000, Byrne transferred parish funds to his bank account and made purchases from accounts containing parish money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Lawsuit under new Hawaii law claims former priest sexually abused boy during overnight retreat

HAWAII
The Republic

[the lawsuit]

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: May 25, 2012

HONOLULU — Attorneys have filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man alleging sexual abuse by a priest at a Honolulu all-boys Catholic school in the 1980s.

The lawsuit filed in Circuit Court in Honolulu Thursday claims the then-13-year-old boy was abused during an overnight retreat by Rev. Gerald Funcheon, a former chaplain and teacher Damien Memorial School.

The lawsuit doesn't name the plaintiff, now an adult living in Honolulu.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says this is the first lawsuit under a new Hawaii law providing a two-year window for claims of sexual abuse against minors to be made, even if the statute of limitations has lapsed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

'Sex games' kept quiet to 'protect victim', bishop claims

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Courtneyt Trenwith
May 25, 2012

A hostel warden accused of ordering boys to strip to their underwear and "wrestle" him – in what has been described as simulating sex - did not deny the allegation when confronted, the then-chair of the hostel board has told a special inquiry.

Bishop Michael Challen said he immediately "invited" Roy Wenlock to resign but did not report the matter to police because the student who complained had asked for confidentiality.

"Reporting wasn't required then ... and the parents asked me specifically not to report it on behalf of the boy," Bishop Challen said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Glowing reference after sex abuse allegations

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Updated May 25, 2012

An inquiry into child sex abuse at a Northam Hostel has heard an Anglican Bishop gave the warden a glowing reference after sacking him for alleged sexual misconduct.

Bishop Michael Challen was the head of Saint Christopher's Hostel board when allegations of sexual abuse arose against the warden, Roy Wenlock including that he would invite boys to his flat to wrestle him in their underpants while simulating sexual intercourse.

Yesterday, an inquiry investigating sexual abuse allegations at the hostel was told a meeting was held between the bishop, one of the victims and a local member of Parliament in 1976 to discuss allegations of abuse.

Bishop Challen denies he attended the meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Kammerdiener des Papstes festgenommen - Verratsverdacht

ROM
Spiegel

Seit Wochen spielte ein Insider Journalisten vertrauliche Dokumente aus dem Vatikan zu - nun haben die Ermittler einen Verdächtigen inhaftiert. In seiner Wohnung wurden stapelweise Unterlagen gefunden. Es soll sich laut italienischen Zeitungen um einen Diener des Papstes handeln.

Rom - Normalerweise dringt nichts nach draußen, wenn römische Kardinäle die politischen und finanziellen Verhältnisse im Kirchenstaat sortieren. Sie regeln ihre Macht- und Geldgeschäfte am liebsten unter sich, hinter den dicken Mauern des Vatikans, möglichst unbehelligt von den Medien. Doch in den vergangenen Monaten gelangten immer wieder geheime Informationen in die Öffentlichkeit.

Monatelang suchten die Ermittler nach dem Maulwurf. Der Vatikan sprach von "VatiLeaks" - in Anspielung auf die Veröffentlichung geheimer US-Botschaftsdepeschen auf der Enthüllungsplattform WikiLeaks. Papst Benedikt XVI. beauftragte Mitte März eine Sonderkommission mit den Ermittlungen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Kein Weg zurück

DEUTSCHLAND
domradio

Nach den Skandalen um sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern und Jugendlichen in der katholischen Kirche hält der neue Generalvikar des Kölner Erzbischofs, Stefan Heße, den erneuten Einsatz von straffällig gewordenen Geistlichen kaum für möglich. Als praktikable Lösung bleibe im Grunde nur die Null-Toleranz - die Entlassung aus dem kirchlichen Dienst, sagte Heße.

"Diese US-amerikanische Praxis wird auch von den deutschen Bischöfen diskutiert, und ich halte es durchaus für möglich, dass auch wir zu dieser Lösung kommen", sagte Heße. Es gehe "nicht nur um vergangene Taten und Verjährungsfristen, sondern auch um die Glaubwürdigkeit der Kirche: Kann ein Täter noch glaubhaft im Auftrag der Kirche das Evangelium verkünden?" sagte Heße dem "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger". Er stellt sich damit gegen die bisherige Praxis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:11 PM

Florida Baptist Convention liable for sexual abuser in rare verdict that holds more than his con

UNITED STATES
The Courier-Journal

Posted on May 22, 2012 by Peter Smith

Fair warning, religious congregations: It isn’t enough to do a criminal background check on a prospective minister. A few phone calls are needed, too.

Florida jury has found the Florida Baptist Convention liable for sexual abuse committed by a pastor it had supported financially.

Normally Baptist conventions are able to keep arm’s length from such lawsuits because local congregations are autonomous.

But in this case, the jury found that the convention failed to do due diligence before it provided grants and training to Douglas W. Myers to work as a church planter.

Hugging Priest Agrees To Stop After Complaint

MICHIGAN
CBS Detroit

GRAND HAVEN (CBS DETROIT) A Michigan priest says he’s gotten nothing but support since he was admonished to stop hugging kids during church services after someone anonymously reported it made them uncomfortable.

“I’ve heard from tons of people, great support, everything’s going to be great, I’m probably the only priest doing it … Everything’s going to be fine, it’s just one of those things, but I sure got a lot of support,” said Father Bill Langlois of St. Patrick and St. Anthony Parish.

For 16 years at the parish, Langlois has set aside time during services to hug children of all ages — anyone who got in line. He reportedly told them things like “I am hugging you, you are hugging me and Jesus is hugging us.”

But recently, the Diocese of Grand Rapids received a letter from someone who anonymously wrote that the practice could be viewed as “inappropriate.” There was no allegation of wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Priest in Falmouth area placed on leave ...

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

Priest in Falmouth area placed on leave after child sex abuse allegation; was previously convicted in Waltham embezzlement case

By Martin Finucane and Lisa Wangsness
| Globe Staff

A senior priest with a limited ministry in the Falmouth area has been placed on administrative leave after officials received an allegation of child sex abuse, the Archdiocese of Boston said today.

The allegation against the Rev. Joseph Byrne dates back to the early 1970s and was only recently reported to church officials, the archdiocese said in a statement.

The archdiocese said it had notified law enforcement and initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint.

Byrne will be barred from ministering to the public until the preliminary investigation is finished.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Archdiocese of Boston suspends priest, SNAP responds

MASSACHUSETTS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by David Clohessy on May 25, 2012

We are grateful that the Archdiocese has notified the public that Rev. Joseph Byrne has been put on leave and that they have turned their evidence over to law enforcement. We hope that they will be sure to keep a tight rein on Rev. Byrne and monitor him closely now that he has been removed from ministry.

We urge Cardinal O’Malley to instruct his flock on how to respond appropriately when allegations of abuse surface. There may be some who will not believe these claims. It is important that parishioners don't make public statements or hold public demonstrations in support of this priest, as this will only deter other witnesses and victims from coming forward, and will intimidate those who already have come forward. Instead, they should be encouraged to support him privately, through prayers, calls or visits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Former Waltham pastor accused of abuse

MASSACHUSETTS
MetroWest Daily News

By Julia Spitz/Daily News staff
The MetroWest Daily News

Posted May 25, 2012

WALTHAM —

A priest who pleaded no contest to charges he embezzled more than $100,000 from a Waltham parish has been placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese of Boston due to allegations of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Joseph F. Byrne, pastor of Waltham’s Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church from 1994-2002, most recently served as a senior priest with limited ministry in parishes in the Falmouth area, the archdiocese said in a statement today. The allegations of improper contact with a child in the early 1970s were only recently reported to the archdiocese, officials said. The specifics of the allegation are not being revealed due to the ongoing investigation and to protect the identity of the person making the allegation, an archdiocese spokeswoman said.

The archdiocese has notified law enforcement of the allegation and initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint, archdiocese officials said.

Byrne will remain on administrative leave without any public ministry pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation, the archdiocese said today.

“The decision to place Fr. Byrne on administrative leave represents the archdiocese’s commitment to the welfare of all parties and does not represent a determination of Fr. Byrne’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation,’’ the archdiocese said in its statement. “The archdiocese will work to resolve this case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties.’’

In 2005, Byrne pleaded no contest to seven counts of larceny over $250 and was sentenced to five years probation on each count.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:26 PM

Pope's butler arrested by Vatican police ...

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail (United Kingdom)

Pope's butler arrested by Vatican police after leaked church documents revealed allegations of power struggles with Vatican bank

Documents also show how contracts were awarded to favoured people
Paolo Gabriele has been at the Pope's side for six years
Furious Pope appointed senior cardinals to investigate the leaks

By Nick Pisa
PUBLISHED: 13:31 EST, 25 May 2012

Vatican police have arrested Pope Benedict XVI's personal butler following an investigation into the leaking of sensitive church documents, it emerged today.

In a scenes worthy of a Dan Brown thriller, the butler identified as Paolo Gabriele, 46, was held by gendarmes after a special commission of three top senior cardinals had been appointed by a furious Pope Benedict to identify the source of the leaks which have caused severe embarrassment.

Gabriele, who has been at the Pope's side for six years, is one of the German born pontiff's closest members of his inner circle which totals just four lay people and four nuns and he is always at his side - he is so close that he and the nuns who look after him are described as

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

**UPDATED**FIRST HAWAII LAWSUIT FILED** Gerald Funcheon: A missing priest appears ….

HAWAII
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on March 25, 2012

The first lawsuit under Hawaii’s landmark civil window was filed yesterday in Hawaii Circuit Court.

The lawsuit (posted here) charges that Fr. Gerald Funcheon sexually abused a 13-year-old boy at Damien Memorial School in 1983/1984 during an overnight retreat on the eastern shore of Oahu. Considering Funcheon’s history (you can read some of the documents here), we can only assume that there may be more victims in Hawaii who are suffering.

Besides exposing predators and keeping kids safe, the beauty of the anti-crime civil window is that the responsible parties are forced to be accountable for the harm they did to child victims and take some of the financial burden for victims’ care off of state coffers and taxpayers. The civil window provides an opportunity put that burden back onto the abusers and enablers, where it belongs.

Similar laws in California and Delaware have exposed hundreds of predators and helped law enforcement put child molesters behind bars.

Funcheon has also been accused of sexual abuse by two former students at Salinas’ Palma School, Chris Spedden and Steven Cantrell. Cantrell, a Monterey-area doctor, wrote an open letter to Palma and the community about the importance of coming forward and reporting sexual abuse. Both Spedden and Cantrell came forward as a part of the Irish Christian Brothers’ bankruptcy. The Brothers run Damien and Palma, as well as other schools across the United States

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Cleveland priests doubt Lennon's leadership, call for removal

CLEVELAND (OH)
National Catholic Reporter

May. 25, 2012
By Brian Roewe

The recent decision of Cleveland bishop Richard G. Lennon to eliminate his diocese’s pastoral planning office appears to have been the final straw, atop a growing list of grievances, for some of his priests.

Since the office’s closing and concurrent firing of two long-time and respected employees, several priests have written letters to Lennon’s superiors in the United States and in Rome, voicing a lack confidence in his leadership and requesting his removal.

The letters surfaced even as Lennon is engaged in the early stages of restoring 11 parishes, carrying out an order from Rome that reversed his earlier decision to shutter the churches. The bishop said in a May 23 meeting with the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s editorial board he hopes to begin reopening parishes by mid-June and complete the process by Aug. 1, the newspaper reported.

Obtained by NCR Thursday morning, the letters from three priests — whose names and respective parishes were blacked out — call for Lennon’s removal as their bishop, and express their waning confidence in his ability to lead the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Antiochian priest found guilty of assaulting woman parishioner

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gmurray@telegram.com

WORCESTER — The Rev. Charles M. Abdelahad, longtime pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral, was found guilty today of physically assaulting a female parishioner during counseling sessions.

The 55-year-old priest, now on a leave of absence, was accused of physically and sexually abusing the 45-year-old woman during about three years' worth of counseling sessions at the church on Anna Street. The sessions began in 2007 and were aimed at treating the victim's eating disorder.

Judge Andrew M. D'Angelo, who presided over a jury-waived trial in Central District Court, found Rev. Abdelahad guilty of one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot) for kicking the woman and one count of assault and battery for biting her. Judge D'Angelo acquitted Rev. Abdelahad on charges of indecent assault and battery, four additional counts of assault and battery and three additional counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

The verdicts were announced by the judge shortly before 12:45 p.m. in a courtroom packed with supporters of both the priest and his accuser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:10 PM

The Pope's butler arrested following Vatileaks investigation

VATICAN CITY
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)

Vatican police have arrested Pope Benedict XVI's personal butler following an investigation into the leaking of sensitive church documents.

By Nick Pisa in Rome
5:30PM BST 25 May 2012

The butler, identified as Paolo Gabriele, 40, was held by gendarmes after a special commission of three top senior cardinals had been appointed by the Pope to identify the source of the leaks which have caused severe embarrassment.

Mr Gabriele, who has been at the Pope’s side for six years, is one of the German born pontiff’s closest members of his inner circle which totals just four lay people and four nuns and he is always at his side.

It is believed that Mr Gabriele, who is known by the nickname Paoletto (little Paul) was held as he arrived for work at the Papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace behind St Peter’s and on Friday he was being held in custody – the first time in years the Vatican jail had been used.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Father Gana Stayed in Church Because He Also Womanized and Stole Parish Money: So, Not a “Pure Pedophile

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
JD Journal

On Thursday, Monsignor William Lynn of the Philadelphia Archdiocese was ripped apart by the prosecution and a gem, a true scintillating gem of Church logic came to fore. The reply given by Monsignor Lynn to the unhappy being identified in court records only as “Tim” was cited by the prosecutors. Tim, a former seminarian, had been repeatedly sexually abused by Reverend Stanley Gana, and a scathing 2005 grand jury report was cited on the exchange where Tim faced Monsignor Lynn. Tim asked why, even though the entire church knew that Stanley Gana was a confirmed pedophile, he was not evicted from the church.

The grand jury report says, “Monsignor Lynn asked the victim, who had been forced to have oral and anal sex beginning when he was 13 years old to understand that the archdiocese would have taken steps to remove Father Gana from the priesthood had he been diagnosed as a pedophile.”

“But Father Gana was not only having sex with children and teenage minors, Monsignor Lynn explained, he had also slept with women, abused alcohol and stolen money from parish churches,” informed the report of the grand jury.

The rationale: “That is why he remained, with Cardinal Bevilacqua’s blessing, a priest in active ministry. ‘You see, Tim,’” said Monsignor Lynn, ‘he’s not a pure pedophile.’”

All Hell breaks loose in the Holy See

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

by John L Allen Jr on May. 25, 2012 NCR Today

To say that the Vatican seems in turmoil would be putting things mildly, with two stunners in the arc of twenty-fours: Yesterday’s announcement that the president of the Vatican Bank has been unceremoniously fired, and today’s revelation that a longtime personal servant of Benedict XVI has been identified as the alleged “deep throat” behind the torrid Vatican leaks scandal.

Perhaps it would be more accurate, albeit a bit crude, to say that all Hell is breaking loose in the Holy See.

Earlier today the Vatican spokesperson, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, announced that the Vatican’s security forces had identified an individual as a source for the recent avalanche of leaks, but didn’t provide the name. Various Italian news outlets, however, are reporting that the suspect is Paolo Gabriele, a layman who has worked for many years in the papal apartments as a butler and waiter for the pope.

According to reports, Gabriele is now being interrogated by the promoter of justice for the Vatican City-State, Nicola Picardi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

The Catholic Church's inquisition of American nuns

UNITED STATES
The Guardian (United Kingdom)

Victoria Bekiempis
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 24 May 2012

So, did you hear the one about the American nuns?

No, this isn't the beginning of a joke. In April, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the Catholic Church's current iteration of the Inquisition, if you will – issued an assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80% of the US's 57,000 nuns.

Some key context here: the conference was formed 56 years ago at the behest of the Holy See, to provide "a unified voice" for US nuns who helped the poor, nursed the sick, taught students, worked as missionaries, and fought violence. (Another important bit of background: the congregation is the same arm of the church that bullied Lavinia Byrne, feminist theologian and former British nun, for arguing in favor of female ordination in a 1993 book.)

The conference, according to the Vatican, was spending too much time doing good – and not enough time enforcing church teaching (against abortion, homosexuality etc). So, the nuns actually got in trouble for being, well, nuns. So troubled was the church by this and the women's alleged "radical feminism" that the assessment demanded the appointment of an archbishop delegate to make them behave.

Nope, no joke.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

May 25, 2012 - Archdiocese of Boston Places Rev. Joseph F. Byrne on Administrative Leave of Absence

MASSACHUSETTS
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kellyanne Dignan
kdignan@rasky.com
617.803.3444

(Braintree, Mass.) May 25, 2012…The Archdiocese of Boston today announced that it has placed Rev. Joseph F. Byrne on an administrative leave of absence as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child. Fr. Byrne is a Senior Priest with limited ministry in parishes in the Falmouth area on Cape Cod. The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have occurred in the early-1970s and was only recently reported to the Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese immediately notified law enforcement of the allegation and has initiated a preliminary investigation into the complaint. Fr. Byrne will remain on administrative leave without any public ministry pending the outcome of the preliminary investigation. The decision to place Fr. Byrne on administrative leave represents the Archdiocese’s commitment to the welfare of all parties and does not represent a determination of Fr. Byrne’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to this allegation. The Archdiocese will work to resolve this case as expeditiously as possible and in a manner that is fair to all parties.

“We remain committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of children and young people in our parishes and institutions,” stated Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley. “I know the faithful and the clergy of the Archdiocese join me in this pledge of prayerful support.”

Through its Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach, the Archdiocese continues to make counseling and other services available to survivors, their families and parishes impacted by clergy sexual abuse and by allegations of abuse by members of the clergy. Cardinal Seán encourages any person in need of pastoral assistance or support to contact the Archdiocese’s Office of Pastoral Support and Outreach by calling (781) 794-2581.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Falmouth Priest Father Joseph F. Byrne Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child

MASSACHUSETTS
Patch

By Margaret Carroll-Bergman

The Archdiocese of Boston announced today that it has placed Rev. Joseph F. Byrne, a Senior Priest with limited ministry in parishes in Falmouth, on an administrative leave of absence as a result of receiving an allegation of sexual abuse of a child.

Father Byrne is a retired priest living on the Cape. He is listed on the website of St. Patrick's Church in Falmouth as a retired priest who serves that parish.

The allegation concerns conduct alleged to have occurred in the early-1970s and was only recently reported to the Archdiocese, according to a press release from the Archdiocese of Boston.

While St. Patrick's is part of the Fall River Diocese, Fr. Byrne served as a priest in the Boston Archdiocese before he retired. Here is a list of the parishes where he served: 1969-1975, St. Matthew, Dorchester; 1975-1985, St. John the Baptist, Quincy; 1985-1994, St. Albert the Great, Weymouth and 1994-2002, Our Lady Comforter of Afflicted, Waltham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 PM

Vatican announces it has caught poison pen letter writer

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The culprit is allegedly the Pope's butler, a layman. But doubts are growing in the Holy See

ANDREA TORNIELLI
Vatican City

The Vatican Gendarmerie’s inquiry into the publication of secret documents “has allowed us to identify one person in possession of confidential documents.” Fr. Federico Lombardi stated this, explaining that this person “is now at the Vatican magistrate’s disposal for further questioning.”

The Vatican Gendarmerie, led by general Domenico Giani has allegedly identified the poison pen letter writer, who Italian newspaper Il Foglio has revealed is the Pope’s butler, Paolo Gabriele: a layman working in Benedict XVI’s apartment, who had previously worked in the Pope’s anteroomfor for a number of years. He is currently undergoing a legal process.

The Vatican Gendarmerie found large wad of confidential documents in an apartment in Via di Porta Angelica, in Rome, where the Pope’s butler Paolo Gabriele lives with his wife and three children. This just over 40 year old man from Rome has been working in the Pope’s apartment since 2006, entering the Pope’s Family after a period serving Mgr. James Harvey, Prefect of the Papal Household.

But is he really a poison pen letter writer or just a scapegoat to save the skin of someone higher up? This is the question many in the Vatican are asking since rumours have been spreading regarding the inquiries into the leaked documents. The butler is in fact considered by many in the Holy See as a simple, good person who is devoted to the Pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Philly predator priest works for TSA at airport; SNAP responds

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Barbara Dorris on May 25, 2012 ·

We are disturbed that Thomas Harkins, an ousted pedophile priest, works at Philadelphia International, and are extremely confused as to how he was able to get this position. Do TSA agents not have to go through a background check? If so, does child molestation not cause concern? To know of Harkin’s criminal past and then to place him in a position of authority is unconscionable.

The TSA claims that Harkins deals with baggage, not people. Yet Harkins could still use his position to get closer to passengers and kids, whether by detaining the owners of luggage or by switching shifts with other TSA agents in the airport. The fact is that there are many ways in which Harkins could get around his job title and use his position of authority to molest even more children.

Situation like these are indicative of what happens when Catholic officials refuse to monitor child molesting clerics: they move elsewhere or get jobs elsewhere, usually interacting with the public where they can begin to meet and befriend single moms and vulnerable kids. (We think it's much more prudent for Catholic officials to house pedophile priests in remote, secure, independent treatment centers. Also, when priests leave for 'civilian jobs,' we think it's best if they work in factories or other places with little or no contact with the public.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 PM

Director of Vatican Bank resigns under pressure

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

May. 25, 2012
By Alessandro Speciale, Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY -- In an unprecedented move, the board of the Vatican Bank on Thursday forced its president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, to resign.

According to a Vatican statement, the bank's supervisory council unanimously passed a no-confidence motion in Gotti Tedeschi for his "failure to fulfill various primary functions of his office." Carl A. Anderson, the supreme knight of the U.S.-based Knights of Columbus, is one of the council's four members.

The Vatican's chief spokesman, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, declined to give more details on the reasons for the dismissal, but analysts say the move should be read in the context of an internal Vatican struggle over controversial new rules for financial transparency.

Since 2010, Gotti Tedeschi, together with the bank's director general, Paolo Cipriani, has been under investigation for alleged money laundering.

In the past, the Vatican Bank, which operates under the protection of the Vatican's status as a sovereign nation, has been often accused of involvement in shady financial operations, such as money laundering for Italian politicians and even mafia bosses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Vatican detains suspect in unauthorised leaks probe

VATICAN CITY
BBC News

The Vatican has said it has detained a person it suspects of leaking a series of confidential documents and letters to the media.

The leaks have described alleged corruption, mismanagement, and internal conflicts among top Holy See officials.

The Vatican said the person was being questioned by Vatican magistrates, but gave no further details about their identity.

The "Vatileaks" scandal, as it is known, has enraged the Holy See.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Vatican arrests person with documents in leaks scandal

VATICAN CITY
Swissinfo

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Vatican police on Friday arrested a person in possession of confidential documents in the first break in an investigation of the so-called "Vatileaks" scandal involving the leaking of secret papers including papal letters.

Italian media said the arrested man was someone who worked in the apartments of Pope Benedict but Vatican spokesmen said they would not disclose the man's identity until they had a green light from investigating magistrates.

A Vatican source said the person was not a priest. Another senior source said: "It's all very sad".

For much of this year, the Vatican has been at the centre of a scandal involving the leak to Italian media of documents, some of them personal letters to the pope.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

Vatican in leaks probe...

VATICAN CITY
Washington Post

By Associated Press, Updated: Friday, May 25

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said Friday that it has arrested someone for illegally holding secret documents as it tries to get to the bottom of an embarrassing leaking scandal.

Spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi declined to immediately identify the person, other than to say he was a layman. He has been arrested and Vatican judicial authorities are examining his case.

Vatican documents leaked to the press in recent months have pointed to power struggles and accusations of corruption touching senior Vatican cardinals. In one case, a cleric who complained was reportedly sent to Washington as papal envoy to get him out of the Vatican.

In another case, Vatican officials have accused the president of the Vatican bank of leaking confidential documents. He was ousted by the board Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

IN ONE EAR

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

. . .An affidavit about a just-arrested St. Louis archdiocesan priest, Father Charles Robert Manning, is sealed. But a woman who says she reported her suspicions about the cleric suggest that he acted like a “jealous lover” toward a 15 year-old, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:31 AM

Priest sentencing adjourned over mental health concerns

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

The sentencing of a paedophile priest was adjourned after a psychiatrist raised concerns over his mental health.

Wheelchair bound 71-year-old Michael Joseph Steele was due to be sentenced by Belfast Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a boy and a girl between 30 and 40 years ago last month.

Steele admitted five counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency committed against the boy between January 1967 and January 1971.

He admitted three counts of indecently assaulting the girl on dates between August 1979 and July 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Sentencing of former priest on child abuse charges adjourned

NORTHERN IRELAND
RTE News

The sentencing of a former priest on child sex abuse charges has been adjourned at Belfast Crown Court after concerns were raised about his mental health.

Joseph Steele, 71, who was a priest in the Holy Ghost Order had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a boy and a girl 40 years ago.

Steele, whose address was given as Kimmage Manor, Crumlin in Dublin, arrived at court in a wheelchair.

He admitted five counts of indecent assault and two of gross indecency against a male child between 1967 and 1971.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:24 AM

COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING MOTION OF NO CONFIDENCE AGAINST THE PRESIDENT OF THE IOR

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Information Service

Vatican City, 25 May 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy See Press Office published a communique concerning the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), the text of which is given below:

"On 24 May members the Supervisory Board of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR) met for their regular meeting. One of the topics on the agenda was, once again, the matter regarding the governance of the Institute. Over time this area had generated increasing worries among the members of the board and, despite repeated efforts to communicate these concerns to Prof. Gotti Tedeschi, president of the IOR, the situation deteriorated further.

"Following discussion of the issues, the board members voted unanimously in favour of a motion expressing no confidence in the president for not having carried out various responsibilities of primary importance regarding his office. On this basis, the following statement was issued:

"'During the regular meeting of the Supervisory Board of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), at 2 p.m. on 24 May 2012 this board adopted a motion of no confidence in President Gotti Tedeschi and recommended the cessation of his mandate as president and member of the board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Vatican arrests man in leaked secret documents scandal

VATICAN CITY
Al Arabiya

By Al Arabiya with Agencies

The Vatican arrested a man caught in possession of secret documents Friday, as the Holy See cracked down on a leak scandal which has seen confidential information passed to the Italian media.

“The inquiry carried out by Vatican police... allowed them to identify someone in possession of confidential documents. This person is currently being questioned by a Vatican magistrate,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told journalists.

The Vatican, embroiled for months in the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal involving the leak of secret papers, said its police had detained the person in possession of confidential documents.

A Vatican source said the person was not a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Vatican police arrest one source of leaked documents

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican police have arrested an individual in possession of private Vatican documents in connection to the so-called "VatiLeaks" scandal that began in January.

"This person now is being questioned by the Vatican magistrates for further information," said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, who declined to name the person.

He told reporters May 25 that the Vatican gendarmes "identified a person illicitly in possession of private documents." The committee of three cardinals Pope Benedict XVI appointed in April to look into the leaks had asked the gendarmes to investigate.

In response to questions, Passionist Father Ciro Benedettini, assistant director of the Vatican press office, said the suspect was "under arrest." However, he declined to say if or where the person was being held.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

Vatileaks and the Vatican’s irritation

ROME
Vatican Insider

Andrea Tornielli
Rome

Dear friends,

I have just finished reading “His Holiness, the secret files of Benedict XVI” which contains the ‘Vatileaks’, the documents and letters that an internal Vatican source gave to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi. As you know, yesterday the Holy See reacted harshly to this, defining the operation “a criminal act” and declaring its will to “take the necessary steps” with the help of the international community.

It is obvious and also understandable that the Vatican feels exasperated at the publication of messages, notes, memos, remarks and letters that had been written only a few months or in some cases a few weeks before. I am not sure what legal action can be taken against publication, but it seems obvious to me that the Holy See has an internal security problem and that the “criminal act” was carried out by someone working inside the Vatican, who may have access to the archives and who manages to intercept papers coming from the Pope, his secretary and the Secretary of State. This person has a precise objective, the details of which are still somewhat hazy. But the source of the problem is the mole’s identity.

From what I know the internal investigation into who was responsible for the leaks has not yet been successful. The three old cardinals in charge of the investigation (Herranz, Tomko and De Giorgi) have received the results of the work carried out by the Vatican Gendarmerie, but it seems that there are no specific leads, despite the fact that only a few people have had access to the documents going in and out of the Pope’s office and that of his secretary. As such, the creation of the committee, which was announced a month in advance by the Substitute to the Secretary of State, Becciu, and which was established on the 25 April, as well as yesterday’s statement seem to have the intent of discouraging further instances of this kind rather than investigating the current ones. But for the time being (more than three months since the first leaks came out) a solution seems to lie beyond the Vatican’s reach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Vatican: Gotti Tedeschi resigns from the IOR

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

The President of the IOR has resigned from his post in light of the tensions over the Saint Rafael case and the Vatican transparency law. He will be succeeded by Ronaldo Hermann Schmitz

ANDREA TORNIELLI
Vatican City

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi has resigned from his post as President of the IOR, the Institute for the Works of Religion. He did so during a meeting of the Supervisory Council, the Vatican bank’s administrative council for the laity, before a no-confidence vote was passed. He is to be succeeded by Vice President Ronaldo Hermann Schmitz. The reason behind the Italian banker and economist’s decision seem to be the internal tensions that have been growing over the past months over the new transparency law which was supposed to get the Holy See onto the white-list of financially virtuous countries.

Gotti Tedeschi was appointed as President of the Vatican bank in 2009, to advance financial transparency work, as Benedict XVI had requested. A few months after his arrival, the IOR became involved in an inquiry carried out by the Roman magistrate into some money transfers: Gotti Tedeschi had decided to collaborate with the judges, agreeing to answer all questions without the need for any international letters of request.

A communiqué issued by the Holy See Press Office says that "after deliberation, the Board decided unanimously on a no- confidence vote against the President, on the grounds that he failed to carry out functions that were of primary importance to his office."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Top Philly Catholic official testifies; SNAP responds

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Posted by Peter Isely on May 24, 2012

“I was just following orders” is not accepted as a defense – legally or morally – in any civilized setting. When colleagues or supervisors give you unjust or criminal orders or requests, you have a moral duty to refuse. When such orders or requests are repeatedly reckless – and endanger kids- you have a moral duty to expose them.

Msgr. Lynn claims top Philly Catholic officials repeatedly told him to defy common decency and common sense and essentially hide and minimize child sex crimes. But Lynn admits he never once contradicted, or even seriously challenged, those immoral edicts. He also admits that he never once even surreptitiously undermined them by quietly calling police about dozens and dozens of known and suspected child predators.

Lynn makes the stunning claim that he "did [his] best, with the parameters given to me." But let’s remember that his “parameters” included many, many options. Among them:

Quitting

Blowing the whistle

Calling the police

Refusing to lie or deceive

Trying to excuse inexcusable inaction and callous decisions, one of Msgr. Lynn’s colleagues said, on the witness stand "You don't say no to Cardinal Bevilacqua." He’s right – IF your goal is to climb the corporate ladder. If, however, you take your religious seriously and care about kids, you DO say no to any official who tries to insist that you conceal and enable child sex crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

CATHOLIC CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE U.S. - CONTEXT AND CAUSES

UNITED STATES
Richard Sipe

A.W. RICHARD SIPE

Santa Clara University

11 May 2012

The context of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic bishops and priests is the culture of the priesthood. Roman Catholic bishops and priests constitute a privileged cast. This persists as a centuries-long reality perpetuated by the monarchical structure essential to the operation of the Roman Catholic Church. The world of RC clergy forms the setting, circumstances, and opportunities that surround the sexual activity of bishops and priests with minors and others. Clergy rule supreme in their spheres of operation—ministry of the sacraments (especially hearing confessions and celebrating mass) religious instructions/teaching, and the administration of their institutions. Parishes (and seminaries) are the most common sites of sexual contacts between priests, minors and others. The climate and culture and power of Catholic bishops and priests put the vulnerable and minors at risk for abuse within areas of clerical control.

The causes of sexual abuse by clergy are solidly rooted in human nature as it is fostered, lived, and expressed in clerical culture. Ordination into major orders (and preparation for them) marks the entrance into the clerical culture. Catholic clerical culture is characterized by homogeneity: it is an exclusively male province—males over twenty-five years of age alone are ordained priests—and they form a homosocial society where women are deprived of any authority. Candidates must promise “perfect and perpetual chastity, therefore celibacy” as a prior condition for ordination [Canon 277 #2]. That requirement confers social power on a priest. ["It was from sexual purity that the priesthood was believed to derive its power."]

Cardinals and bishops vow absolute obedience to the Pope as the supreme authority. They, the pope’s legitimate surrogates, demand this obedience of their subordinates. [Father Yves Congar once said, “In the Catholic Church it has often seemed that a sin of the flesh was the only sin, and obedience the only virtue.”]

If a priest is apparently compliant with the demands of the culture he receives automatic status regardless of any individual merit. The culture provides an assurance of employment and continued material compensation for the duration of his life. The identification with the power system and subordination to it relives individuals of responsibility for the consequences of their individual actions. Truth telling is curtailed and subjected to the welfare of the organization (the good of the church). The prevailing rationale is that clerics’ first duty is to the higher law of God. Secrecy and loyalty are essential binding elements operative to the function of clerical cultural. Men within the clerical culture are labeled “special” since ordination confers an “ontological” superiority. Clerics thus incorporated into the culture often demonstrate qualities of dependency, entitlement, superiority/arrogance, variable degrees of psychosexual immaturity, but in many cases “they posses enormous powers of empathetic discernment—albeit for purposes of self-aggrandizement.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

15m euros spent on Archdiocese of Dublin abuse cases

IRELAND
BBC News

The Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin has spent more than 15m euros in settling child abuse claims.

The figure, which includes 5m euros in legal fees, is in the diocese's annual child protection report.

Just over a third of complaints against priests were made in the 1980s, according to the report.

It also said the 10 worst clerical abusers in the archdiocese are alleged to have abused an average of 36 children each.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Church musician accused of sexually assaulting teen

TEXAS
Click2Houston

[with video]

RICHMOND, Texas -
A church musician has been accused of committing a sin inside a Fort Bend County church.

Marcus Grimsley, 42, has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Fort Bend County sheriff's deputies said Grimsley was playing guitar in a band at the Zion Watchtower Baptist Church, 606 F.M. 359, in Richmond on Sunday.

In between services, Grimsely spotted a 13-year-old girl playing outside with friends, detectives said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Deetman begint tweede onderzoek

NEDERLAND
RKnieuws

DEN HAAG (RKnieuws.net) - Vrouwelijke slachtoffers tegen wie als minderjarige seksueel misbruik en geweld is gepleegd binnen de Rooms-Katholieke Kerk kunnen hun ervaringen melden voor het onderzoek dat hiernaar in voorbereiding is.

Het onderzoek staat opnieuw onder leiding van drs. Wim Deetman. Die kreeg onlangs grote kritiek vanuit de politiek op zijn eerste rapport over seksueel misbruik van minderjarigen binnen katholieke instellingen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

Vatican Diary / Appointments in view, Italians in the balance

VATICAN CITY
Chiesa

VATICAN CITY, May 25, 2012 – In the Roman curia, but not only there, there is great anticipation over who will be the new prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.

Meanwhile, however, other curial mandates have expired or are about to expire, of lesser impact in the media but certainly not devoid of importance.

In 2005, when the newly elected Benedict XVI had to decide on the name of his successor at the former Holy Office, he selected the first of three candidates:

- the archbishop of San Francisco, William J. Levada,
- the cardinal of Genoa, Tarcisio Bertone (whom Pope Joseph Ratzinger probably had in mind already as his secretary of state),
- the cardinal of Sydney, George Pell (who two years ago was seriously taken into consideration as prefect of the congregation for bishops, a position for which Canadian cardinal Marc Ouellet was chosen).

Now Levada, who was made a cardinal in 2006, has already exceeded by almost one year the canonical cutoff of 75, and will turn 76 on June 15, so the procedure that will lead to the appointment of his successor is in its final phase.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Vatican Bank board ousts chief Tedeschi in no-confidence vote

VATICAN CITY
The Irish Times

PADDY AGNEW

The controversial Vatican Bank, IOR (Istituto Per Le Opere di Religione), is in the wars again after its president was last night unanimously dismissed in a no-confidence vote by the bank’s board, all laymen.

President Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, who is being investigated on accusations of money laundering, was sacked because of his failure to fulfil “the primary functions of his office”, according to a Holy See statement. Members of the board believed Mr Tedeschi’s dismissal was needed to “maintain the vitality of the bank”, the statement said.

By all accounts, yesterday’s board meeting was far from tranquil, with Mr Tedeschi clashing bitterly with the other four lay members. Mr Tedeschi reportedly clashed with his board over the bank’s failure to respect international anti-money laundering regulations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

Vatican bank head forced out in vote

VATICAN CITY
Deutsche Welle

The head of the Vatican bank has been forced to resign his post when the board passed a unanimous no-confidence vote against him. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was accused of letting standards slip too far.

Tedeschi was ousted on Thursday evening after the vote by bank overseers at the Vatican, which blamed him for a deterioration in standards of governance.

The Vatican said in a statement that Gotti Tedeschi had failed to carry out "various fundamentally important functions of his office."

Among other things, Gotti Tedeschi was blamed for failing to keep the board sufficiently informed about the bank, known also as the Institute for Religious Works.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:15 AM

Lord’s Banker ousted: Vatican Bank chief fired in corruption row

VATICAN CITY
RT

The Vatican Bank chief has been dismissed for reportedly leaking documents amid accusations of money laundering. The move comes as the Holy See, embroiled in a chain of financial scandals, is trying to deal with claims of corruption and fraud.

The president of the Vatican Bank Ettore Gotti Tedeschi has been ousted after receiving a unanimous vote of no-confidence from bank overseers.

The economist, who presided over the institution since 2009, is under investigation by Italian magistrates for alleged money laundering.

Gotti Tedeschi is seen as having failed to clean up the image of the bank, perceived as a symbol of the opacity and corruption scandal gripping the Pope’s kingdom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

Former pastor Larry Bollinger denies abusing Haitian kids

NORTH CAROLINA
Charlotte Observer

By Joe DePriest
jdepriest@charlotteobserver.com

A former Gaston County pastor has denied having illicit sex with two minors in Haiti while he was giving them food and clothing through a church ministry.

In a federal court hearing Monday in Charlotte, Larry Michael Bollinger, 66, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

About 30 of his supporters were in the courtroom, hoping he’d be released from jail until the trial. But a federal judge denied bond and Bollinger remained behind bars.

Prosecutors said four victims were identified, but Bollinger was charged for his conduct with two girls, ages 11 and 12. They said he met the victims, who were from Port-au-Prince, when they came to the Village of Hope, a sub-ministry of The Lazarus Project. A mostly Lutheran ministry, the Lazarus Project runs a vocational school and medical clinic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 AM

Fire-Breathing Prosecutor Assails Lynn As Liar; Monsignor's Supporters Break Out Rosary Beads

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Priest Abuse Trial Blog

Ralph Cipriano

At the Catholic sex abuse trial, it was good day to feel like throwing up.

On the witness stand Thursday, an amiable and smiling Monsignor William J. Lynn tried to defend the indefensible, by explaining away the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's criminal conduct of the past fifty years. It's hard to justify how the church could repeatedly offer up its own innocent children as a regular sacrifice to the unbridled lusts of rampaging predator priests, but Lynn gave it a try, with predictable results.

But that wasn't the only sickening sight in Courtroom 304. Over at the prosecution table, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington was a study in fire-breathing indignation, as he pummeled the hapless monsignor for more than four hours, without showing any mercy, or common sense.

Who would want to see Mike Tyson in his prime whaling away on the Pillsbury doughboy? No wonder jurors often looked away as the bloodsport went on unabated, without anyone in Lynn's corner tossing in the towel, or the judge calling the bout.

Blessington could have dissected Lynn on the facts, but instead he chose to repeatedly insult and demean a man in a priest's collar who wasn't fighting back. It seemed like the ideal way to create sympathy for Lynn among jurors. It may be the only way the defense has left to possibly win the case.

Meanwhile, in the courtroom, there was the odd spectacle of at least a dozen of Lynn's parishioners from St. Joseph's in Downingtown who showed up to support their pastor by watching and praying and clutching rosary beads.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Dublin Archbishop refuses to publicly back embattled Cardinal Sean Brady

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

By Colm Kelpie
Friday, 25 May 2012

Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin yesterday declined to publicly back embattled All-Ireland primate Cardinal Sean Brady.

Dr Brady has kept a relatively low profile since new allegations emerged of the handling of child abuse concerns raised about notorious paedophile cleric Fr Brendan Smyth.

With just weeks to go to the 50th Eucharistic Congress, Archbishop Martin said the challenges facing the church were not about just one person.

"Cardinal Brady has said that he is staying and that he has lots of support from people; I've never commented and I don't know any thing of those details," he said. Asked if he supported Cardinal Brady, Dr Martin replied: "I've made no comments on other bishops."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:59 AM

10 million euro for abuse victims

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

More than ten million euro in compensation has been paid out to victims of paedophile priests in the Dublin area.

Allegations of child abuse have been made against almost 100 priests in the archdiocese over the last 70 years, with more than a third from the 1980s. Complaints were lodged against five clergy who had never been subject to previous allegations in the last 12 months, according to Dublin's church watchdog.

Andrew Fagan, director of services with the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service in Dublin, said there were ongoing efforts to maintain high standards in child safety.

"In Dublin, child safeguarding operates to a high standard and Dublin parishes are now safer places for children," he said. "While the majority of allegations of abuse reported to us now, relate to sexual abuse which may have occurred many years ago, it is still crucial to be vigilant and to work to ensure standards are maintained."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 AM

May 24, 2012

Hynes singles out haredi community as harassers of sexual assault victims

NEW YORK
JTA

May 24, 2012

(JTA) -- Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes reportedly said that the haredi Orthodox community is the only one in his jurisdiction in which sexual assault victims are harassed and intimidated.

In an interview that appeared Thursday in Andrea Peyser's New York Post column, Hynes cited the insularity of Brooklyn's haredi community and the need to protect sex-abuse victims from intimidation for his refusal to release the names of accused molesters from the community.

“I departed from the policy of identifying defendants,’’ he told Peyser. “The reason is that within days, people within this relentless community would identify the victims. Then the intimidation would start.’’

Hynes has been under attack for refusing to divulge the names. He has been criticized for trying to curry favor with the haredi Orthodox constituency, which has supported him in past elections.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

When Rabbis Muzzle Sex Crime Victims, What's a Prosecutor to Do?

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Bennett L. Gershman and Joel Cohen

Prosecutors often deal with crime victims who do not want to testify. Victims are afraid they will be harmed by their abusers, such as victims of domestic violence. Others are embarrassed to testify in public and undergo brutal cross-examination, such as rape victims. Others are traumatized by the courtroom and having to face their abuser, such as child victims. The law has tried to accommodate these concerns through witness protection programs, rape shield laws, and closed circuit testimony. But sometimes the opposite happens: victims want to testify against their abusers but face pressure from friends, family, and powerful members of their own community not to cooperate with the authorities.

Recent disclosures have revealed that some ultra-Orthodox Jewish leaders, particularly in Brooklyn, N.Y., routinely pressure victims of child sexual crimes to not complain publicly against their abusers. Charles Hynes, the experienced district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., has been criticized of for appearing to allow these rabbis to dictate when and under what circumstances sexual abuse charges may be brought. Indeed, it certainly looks like obstruction of justice for rabbis to pressure a crime victim not to complain. As reported in the media, these religious authorities have repeatedly warned child victims of sexual abuse and their parents not to bring criminal charges against other Jews, claiming that it violates Jewish law, damages the reputation of the Orthodox Jewish community, and stigmatizes the alleged abuser and his family if the accusation is not true. When victims did not heed these warnings -- even after being offered large sums of money not to complain, ostensibly for "therapy" for the child -- they reportedly faced severe consequences -- they were expelled from schools and synagogues, ostracized by the community, threatened with harm, and publicly humiliated, even spat upon. Mr. Hynes reportedly was assured by these rabbis that accusations would be allowed to be brought, but only if the rabbis first determined that the allegations were true.

What is going on here? Have these rabbis been delegated the "gatekeepers" of the criminal justice system? Should any government official ever permit religious leaders unilaterally to dictate public policy? The notion that a religious leader has been given the power to decide whether a member of his community can bring a criminal complaint poses a clear challenge to the First Amendment's Establishment Clause by entangling religious leaders -- either explicitly or implicitly -- with the secular legal system's prosecutorial decision-making process. Indeed, should church officials be allowed to decide whether a priest or minister alleged to have engaged in wrongful conduct be prosecuted? Should Native American tribes be allowed to decide whether one of its members should be exempted from prosecution for a criminal offense? Should a university be allowed to determine whether discipline should be imposed on one of its football coaches for child sexual abuse instead of criminal prosecution?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 PM

After Bad Press, Brooklyn DA Changes Course On Child Sex Abuse

NEW YORK
Gothamist

Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes is desperately trying to extricate himself from a political scandal sparked by his refusal to release the names of ultra-Orthodox Jews suspected of child molestation, as well as letting powerful rabbis decide whether child abuse allegations should be reported to the police. Hynes's cooperation with the ultra-Orthodox community has been absolutely crucial to his reelection campaigns; he's won landslide victories in neighborhoods with large Jewish populations. Now, in the wake of a damning New York Times article about his handling of sex abuse cases in these communities, Hynes is... proposing legislation.

In an interview with the Times yesterday, Hynes said he "would push for state legislation to add rabbis and other religious leaders to the list of professionals required to report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities." This is a 180-degree reversal—multiple sources told the Times that Hynes "did not object when Agudath Israel of America... told him last summer that it was instructing adherent Jews to get permission from a rabbi before reporting allegations of sexual abuse to the authorities."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Agudah Rabbis Could Be Prosecuted For Obstruction Of Justice, D.A. Says

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

The Jewish Week has a new article by Hella Winston in which the office of Brooklyn's D.A. Charles Hynes says that Agudah rabbis who insist on vetting child sexual abuse allegations and determining whether or not they can be reported to police, the D.A. or the Administration of Child Services could be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.

Here are a few quotes from the article:

Hynes’ spokesperson Jerry Schmetterer: “DA Hynes told Dovid Zwiebel [Agudah’s executive vice president] that it was a mistake to advise someone with information about child abuse to first speak with a rabbi. Zwiebel … risks having the rabbi prosecuted for obstructing a law enforcement investigation.”

The Jewish Week asked Schmetterer to clarify what someone should do if he or she had information about allegations about abuse. Schmetterer responded that the person should “report [the allegations] to authorities for investigation.”

James A. Cohen, associate professor of law and the director of the Trial Advocacy Program & External Affairs at Fordham University School of Law: “Encouraging delay in reporting a crime, particularly a crime against a child, is obstructing justice.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 PM

Brooklyn DA Pushes for Rabbis to Report Abuse

NEW YORK
WNYC

The Brooklyn District attorney is pushing for legislation that would add religious leaders to those required to report allegations of sex abuse to authorities in the wake of criticism over his handling of such cases in the Orthodox Jewish community, according to the New York Times.

Critics of Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes say he allows the community a free pass – not objecting when a group representing Hasidic and Orthodox Jews instructed followers to first get permission from a rabbi before reporting alleged sexual abuse and refusing to make public the more than 95 recently indicted.

But Paul Berger, staff writer for the Jewish Daily Forward, told the Brian Lehrer Show earlier this month that it is more nuanced than that.

“He still expects that those cases are still brought to him,” he said. “If you want to get somebody’s advice … then it would make sense that they should seek the guidance of a rabbi first.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Vatican Bank head ousted as Holy See fights scandal

VATICAN CITY
SKNVibes

By: Jean-Louis de la Vaissiere, VATICAN CITY (AFP)

(Vatican City, VAT) - The Vatican Bank ousted its president on Thursday after he failed to clean up the image of an institution that has come to symbolise the opacity and scandal gripping the Holy See's administration.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was forced to resign "for failing to carry out duties of primary importance," the Holy See said in a statement.

The president was ousted in the wake of a series of financial scandals as the Vatican tries to clean up its image and put a stop to a leak of documents.

"The board passed a unanimous no-confidence vote against the president... and believes the action is important to maintain the vitality" of the bank, the Vatican said, as internal divisions over transparency came to a head.

Gotti Tedeschi, an expert on financial ethics, was put in charge of the bank -- also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) -- in 2009, in an effort on the part of the Vatican to rid the institution of scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Lynn’s response to prosecutor’s attack: ‘I’m not perfect’

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin and Joseph A. Slobodzian
INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS

Midway through his cross-examination Thursday, Msgr. William J. Lynn sat deflated on the witness stand.

Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington had spent a second day battering Lynn over his handling of complaints of clergy sex abuse.

Lynn tried to press back. Blessington, he said, was "wordsmithing," twisting his statements, ignoring his replies, and being unfair.

But the prosecutor was relentless. As the church official responsible for investigating accused priests, Blessington said, Lynn had lied, lied, and lied some more - to victims, police, and parishioners across the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. When Blessington said Lynn intentionally misled a grand jury, the monsignor shook his head, exasperated.

"No," Lynn sighed quietly, dropping his gaze and letting the word linger, as the prosecutor loaded another round.

The questions weren't a surprise.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

Eileen DiFranco on Philadelphia Msgr. William Lynn...

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Voice from the Desert

Eileen DiFranco on Philadelphia Msgr. William Lynn: My Second Encounter with Bill Lynn

Eileen attended the big trial in Philadelphia yesterday. Below are her reflections. [FJD]

* * *
My Second Encounter with Bill Lynn

Ten years ago, I was a member of a support group for one of the survivors mentioned in the 2005 Grand jury report. Our group had invited Lynn to a meeting to explain to all of us how Nicholas Cudemo could remain a priest when the archdiocese knew he had sexually abused a long list of adolescent girls on a regular basis.

I decided that I would take a personal day today and see how Bill was making out now that lawyers rather than private citizens were asking him how men who committed horrific crimes against children could remain in ministry as priests in good standing under his watch.

I arrived early and just spent some time looking around the courtroom. . The lawyers were up front busily preparing for the day. A large group of mostly women came into court. I heard that they were Lynn’s family. There were perhaps 10 observers and many media people. For those of you in Philadelphia, I saw local reporters Vernon Odom, Pat Sirococi, and Terry Ruggles. I was told that there were people from the national news and I later saw one of the women on the CBS national news.

There was a large man sitting in front of me. When three priests walked in and sat in front of him, he patted one of them on the back. An elderly man asked if I were a sister. That was a first for me. I didn’t want to tell him what I really was and upset him. ( I’m a Roman Catholic Womanpriest.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Newly released file details clergy sex abuse in Santa Barbara

CALIFORNIA
KPCC

[Archive of Franciscan Sex Abuse in the Province of St. Barbara - BishopAccountability.org]

By Lisa Brenner

Files detailing alleged clergy abuse at Franciscans' St. Anthony Seminary, a former boarding school in Santa Barbara, have been released following a lengthy legal battle.

The documents, posted online at bishopaccountability.org, contain accusations of sexual abuse of children, and an account of a man who describes being molested there as a child and later molesting other childeren, says the L.A. Times.

For decades, the now-shuttered St. Anthony's Seminary was awash in dark secrets. A cache of documents obtained in a lawsuit and posted online Wednesday, including [Robert] Van Handel's so-called sexual autobiography, has begun to shed some light on them.

The documents, containing accounts of 25 alleged victims who say they were abused by nine clergy members, is the largest release of a Roman Catholic religious order's confidential files, according to a plaintiffs' attorney. Van Handel is the only one of them who has been criminally convicted, notes the newspaper.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Protecting the unholiest sinners

NEW YORK
New York Post

Andrea Peyser

There exists in this city a group of unparalleled perverts that’s wrapped in Teflon — more resistent to charges of sexual exploitation than John Travolta.

I’m not talking about Hollywood nimrods or Catholic priests, but a sect not generally associated with serious crime — ultra-Orthodox Jews.

A scandal of epic proportions is brewing in Brooklyn as District Attorney Charles Hynes uses kid gloves to handle creeps and demons charged with, or convicted of, sexual abuse that too often brutalizes children.

While monsters of other faiths are paraded in shame through the public square, Hynes this week refused to reveal the identities of Hasidic scumbags.

Some of the deviants committed crimes from rape to sodomy to incest in sex attacks on kids.

Some have enjoyed sweet plea deals. Others are out there as we speak — preying on the weak in blessed anonymity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Obama admin versus Vatican Bank: A compilation. USA government lists Vatican as 'potential money-laundering center'

UNITED STATES
Pope Crimes & Vatican Evils...

Paris Arrow

Updated May 24, 2012

Ever since the USA government listed the Vatican as 'potential money-laundering center', the Vatican is trying to patch-up its image in order to “restore” its reputation and its relations with the international financial community. So in a no confidence vote today, it fired its president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, "for not having carried out various functions of primary importance to his office" , see news updates below. How on earth can Tedeschi carry out the functions in his office at the Vatican Bank when he also teaches ethics in finance at Milan’s Catholic University and so he could show up only two days a week at the Vatican Bank while tending to his other job as head of Spain's Banco Santander's Italian unit? Imagine that, only at the Vatican can one be the President of 2 banks or perhaps more. For the Vatican Bank to have relations with other financial institutions, of course, it has to hire someone already in a high level position to do its international transactions, like the President of Spain's biggest bank. That shows how cunning the Vatican is. We will put all news related to the Vatican Bank in this post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 PM

I-Team: Priest Removed From Ministry Due To Sex Abuse Allegations Now Works At PHL

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

[with video]

By Ben Simmoneau

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The CBS 3 I-Team has learned that a Catholic priest who was removed from the ministry over sex abuse allegations now holds a sensitive security post at Philadelphia International Airport.

The security checkpoint between Terminals D and E is a busy place where thousands of people – including lots of kids – pass through every day. But you might not believe who the I-Team observed working as a TSA supervisor at that checkpoint this week: Thomas Harkins.

Until 2002, Harkins was a Catholic priest working at churches across South Jersey. But the Diocese of Camden removed him from ministry because it found he sexually abused two young girls. Now, in a new lawsuit, a third woman is claiming she also is one of Harkins’ victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Archdiocese paid €15.2m in compensation and legal fees in sex abuse cases

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

DUBLIN’S CATHOLIC archdiocese has paid €15.2 million in compensation and legal costs arising from clerical child sexual abuse, according to a report published yesterday.

This included €10.3 million in settlements and €4.9 million in legal costs.

To date 199 civil actions have been taken in Dublin arising from clerical child abuse, with 135 concluded and 64 ongoing.

The archdiocese has so far received 97 allegations/reports of suspicions of abuse against the worst priest serial child abuser in Dublin. He is no longer a priest and is currently serving a lengthy prison sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Monsignor: I didn't put list of predators in safe

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Albany Times Union

MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

Updated 05:48 p.m., Thursday, May 24, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic church official testified Thursday that he typed a list of suspected pedophile priests on his computer, but couldn't find it 10 years later to show a grand jury.

Monsignor William Lynn endured a second day of searing cross-examination as he fights charges he endangered children by protecting priests. He's due back on the stand Tuesday.

Lynn denies locking the 1994 list in an archdiocese safe, where church employees say it was found in 2006 and then buried in a lawyer's files until this year.

The list was turned over to city prosecutors in February, days after Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died. They've made it something of a smoking gun since the trial started in March.

Prosecutors believe it shows the Philadelphia archdiocese knew it had diagnosed pedophiles and other predators on duty, but left them in jobs with access to children.

"They have that collar on. It attracts kids like candy," Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington said as he peppered Lynn with questions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 PM

Day 2 Of Cross Examination In Priest Sex Abuse Trial Proves Intense

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Pat Ciarrocchi

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Monsignor William Lynn walked to lunch with his family surrounding him, and for the first time all morning, his face wasn’t blazing red.

The second day of cross examination was intense from the start.

The prosecutor, Assistant DA Patrick Blessington, named cases involving notorious priests — with credible allegations of sexual abuse of children who remained in ministry.

One was Father Stanley Gana, who Blessington described as a monster with multiple victims. Blessington wanted to know how this case fell through the cracks.

“There was no excuse for it falling through the cracks. I’m not perfect,” Lynn answered.

“Do you agree; Gana is a monster?” Blessington pressed.

“I agree he did horrible things,” Lynn confirmed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 PM

Senior U.S. priest defends response to child sex abuse complaint

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
WKZO

By Dave Warner

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A senior church official on Thursday defended his response to a child abuse victim who was told that a predator priest could not be punished because he had sex with women too and therefore was "not a pure pedophile."

Under intense cross-examination by the prosecution, Monsignor William Lynn of the Philadelphia Archdiocese testified in his own defense for the second day at his trial on charges of child endangerment and conspiracy. He is accused of covering up child sex abuse allegations against priests, often by transferring them to unsuspecting parishes.

Lynn, 61, the former secretary of the clergy in the archdiocese, is the highest-ranking U.S. clergyman to go to trial in the Roman Catholic church's pedophilia scandal. His job was to supervise 800 Philadelphia priests, including investigating sex abuse claims against them, from 1992 to 2004.

The pedophilia scandal has rocked the Philadelphia Archdiocese, with 1.5 million members the sixth largest in the country. Nationwide, more than 10,000 allegations of child sex abuse were brought against priests between 1950 and 2002, according to a report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Franciscan Files Expose Details of Sex Abuse Against Minors

CALIFORNIA
The Christian Post

[Archive of Franciscan Sex Abuse in the Province of St. Barbara - BishopAccountability.org]

By Luiza Oleszczuk , Christian Post Reporter

May 24, 2012|5:45 pm

Over 8,500 pages of documents detailing charges of sex abuse of minors within the Franciscan religious order in California were published Wednesday, revealing dark secrets about years of ongoing abuse by a boarding school choir director and eight other clergymen.

The files are believed to be the largest release of religious order documents in the history of the sexual abuse crisis, according to BishopAccountability.org. They reveal details of crimes committed by the nine priests who were accused of abuse, including Robert Van Handel, a former Franciscan priest and choir director at St. Anthony's, a prestigious Franciscan boarding school in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Among the documents are notes from the men's therapists, letters from parents of alleged victims, and reports by the Board of Inquiry.

A majority of the files is now available online. All documents outline the abuse of 25 alleged victims. Van Handel is the only clergyman of those mentioned who has been criminally convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 PM

Caso Seppia, Zanardi denuncia tre vescovi

ITALIA
Il Secolo XIX

Genova - Un esposto di trentatre pagine che chiama in causa l’arcivescovo di Genova, Angelo Bagnasco, e i suoi due predecessori, Tarcisio Bertone e Dionigi Tettamanzi. Lo ha presentato in Procura Francesco Zanardi, portavoce della rete “L’abuso”, sul caso di don Riccardo Seppia, l’ex parroco di Sestri Ponente arrestato e condannato a nove anni e mezzo per violenza sessuale su minore, tentata induzione alla prostituzione minorile e offerte di droga. Zanardi chiede alla Procura di verificare se i tre arcivescovi fossero a conoscenza dei comportamenti del parroco e, nel caso, perché non abbiano fatto nulla per evitarli.

«Anche se nelle linee guida sugli abusi sessuali dei preti sui minori la Conferenza episcopale italiana ha stabilito che per i vescovi non ci sarà obbligo di denuncia in quanto non sono pubblici ufficiali - dice Zanardi - deve pur valere l’articolo 40 del codice penale dove si dice che non impedire un reato di cui si è a conoscenza equivale a cagionarlo».

[translation]

Case of Seppia, Zanardi denounces three bishops

Genoa- A letter of 33 pages accuses the archbishop of Genova, Angelo Bagnasco, and his two predecessors, Tarcisio Bertone and Dionigi Tettamanzi. It was presented to the office of the Prosecutor by Francesco Zanardi, spokesperson of the network L'abuso", in connection to the case of don Riccardo Seppia, the former parish priest of Sestri Ponenete, who was arrested and sentenced to nine years and six months for sexual violence on minor, attempted prostitution of minors and multiple offers of drugs. Zanardi asks the Prosecutor to investigate whether the three archbishops knew about the behavior of the priest, and if sdo, why they did not do anything to avoid this behavior.

"Even if the "guidelines on sexual abuse of minors by clergy" of the Italian Conference of Bishops has stated that there will be no obligation to denounce, because bishops are not public officials, " says Zanardi, "the article 40 of the Criminal Law should still be applied, which states that a person who has knowledge of a crime, but does nothing to stop it, is equally responsible of causing it."

According to Zanardi, who has been fighting for years, trying to expose sexual abuse by clergy in the Savona Diocese, it is legitimate to suppose that the bishops of Genova were fully aware of the perversities of Riccardo Seppia, through the notes in the personnel file of the priest". In our letter we ask the the Prosecutor to investigate the visit of cardinal Bagnasco paid to Riccardo Seppia, when he was in jail. "Why did he obtain permission to visit him when the judge had forbidden all visits?"

Judge Roberta Bossi, in the meantime, has turned down the request of Paola Bonanni, the lawyer of the ex-priest, to have the priest serve his sentence in a therapeutic community, because the priest is ill and needs to be taken care of. Don Seppia will remain hereto in the "secure" area of the prison of Sanremo, where sexual delinquents are held.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

It's Atheists not Catholics or Christians who are responsible for Child Abuse and Violent Rhetoric

UNITED STATES
Disaffected and it Feels So Good

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God." - George H. W. Bush, 41st U.S. President.

Sorry atheist scum the continued and rampant exploitation and abuse of children stems not from catholic priests but from atheism. Even though, Philadelphia prosecutors have brought a case against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to determine how the Church dealt with abusive predatory priests.

Monsignor William Lynn is the first U.S. church official ever charged over his handling of abuse complaints. Prosecutors also allege the Church kept kept secret files dating back to 1948 showing a long-standing conspiracy to cast doubt in the minds of sex abuse victims and protect priests.

How dare the Government infringe upon the rights of the religious! Hey Obama, We have a thing called the 1st Amendment here!

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 PM

President of the Vatican's Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, ousted by board

VATICAN CITY
Rome Reports

[with video]

May 24, 2012. (Romereports.com) (-ONLY VIDEO-) The president of the Vatican's Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, reportedly resigned on Thursday, before the IOR board (Institute for Works of Religion) issued a no confidence vote against him. The Vatican released a statement on the matter, which states that the now former president, “failed to meet some highly important functions.”

At this point, the Vatican is not commenting on any specifics, but it did highlight what type of president it will look for in the near future.

“The council is looking for an excellent new president to help the Institute promote effective and comprehensive relations between the Institute and the financial community, based on mutual respect for internationally accepted banking standards.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Vatican bank board fires president, citing neglect of duties

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, president of the Vatican bank, was fired May 24 by the bank's board of directors, who censured him for neglecting his duties amid worsening management problems.

The board of the bank, formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion, issued an unusually blunt statement through the Vatican Press Office, noting that members had repeatedly expressed concern to Gotti Tedeschi about the bank's "governance," but that the "situation has deteriorated further."

The statement said that the board voted to censure Gotti Tedeschi "for not having carried out various functions of primary importance to his office," but did not specify the functions in question.

Pope Benedict XVI named Gotti Tedeschi, an Italian banker and professor of financial ethics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, as president of the bank in 2009. The appointment was seen at the time as a move toward greater transparency in the bank's operations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Vatican Bank Chief Ousted After Money-Laundering Scandal

VATICAN CITY
Bloomberg Business Week

By Flavia Krause-Jackson on May 24, 2012

The Vatican bank, whose reputation took a blow last year over an investigation into money laundering, has fired Chairman Ettore Gotti Tedeschi after a tenure stained by a financial scandal.

In a vote of no-confidence, the board of directors unanimously agreed to remove Tedeschi, a former Banco Santander SA (SAN) banker who took the job in 2009, from his post for failing “to carry out various duties of primary importance,” according to a statement by Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

The bank, which is formally called the Institute for the Works of Religion, said it’s now hunting for a replacement who can “restore” relations with the financial community. Set up in 1942 by Pope Pius XII to manage the Vatican’s finances, the bank, known by its Italian initials as the IOR, reports directly to the pope.

After barely a year in office, Tedeschi, who also teaches ethics in finance at Milan’s Catholic University, was taken by surprise when Italian prosecutors in 2010 seized 23 million euros ($29 million) from a Rome bank account registered to the IOR amid suspicions of money-laundering violations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 PM

Abwehr statt Anwaltschaft für die Opfer

SCHWEIZ
kath.ch

In der Schweizer Kirche kommt die Bewältigung des Missbrauchskandals nur schleppend voran. Es gibt wenige unabhängige Opfer-Stellen. Ungeklärt ist zudem die Frage der Entschädigungen.

Von Michael Meier

Monate, nachdem in Deutschland das Ausmass des Kindsmissbrauchs durch Kleriker öffentlich gemacht wurde, legte im Juni 2010 das Fachgremium Sexuelle Übergriffe in der Seelsorge der Schweizer Bischofskonferenz eine Statistik zu den Missbrauchsfällen in der hiesigen Kirche vor: Seit 1950 war es zu 150 Missbrauchsfällen gekommen. Die Bischöfe bedauerten die grosse Schuld, die in der Kirche und in Diözesen bekannt geworden sei. Doch was ist in den zwei letzten Jahren geschehen? Nicht viel. Joseph Bonnemain, Sekretär des Fachgremiums, sagt, man habe auf Verlangen der Glaubenskongregation die eigenen Richtlinien von 2002 nochmals revidiert und die Vorgaben des Apostolischen Stuhls rezipiert. Zum Beispiel, dass die Verjährung von Übergriffen gegenüber Minderjährigen nicht mehr zehn, sondern 20 Jahre nach Erreichen des Erwachsenenalters betragen soll. Laut Bonnemain sind derzeit nicht viele neue Fälle zu verzeichnen, es sei ruhiger geworden. Aber es gebe noch viel zu tun, vor allem in der Prävention. In den Priesterseminaren, aber auch in der Weiter- und Fortbildung der Seelsorgenden müsse die Sensibilität weiter wachsen. Bonnemain wünscht sich, dass die Medien das Thema wachhalten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:27 PM

15-Jährige soll nach Sexpartys im Vatikan getötet worden sein

VATIKAN
Spiegel

Vor fast 30 Jahren verschwand Emanuela Orlandi spurlos aus dem Vatikan. Jetzt berichtet der Chef-Exorzist der katholischen Kirche, die junge Frau sei von Gendarmen der Vatikan-Polizei für Sexpartys vermittelt und später ermordet worden.

Hamburg - "Es ist ein Verbrechen mit sexuellem Hintergrund", da ist sich Gabriele Amorth sicher. Als "globales Oberhaupt der Exorzisten" in der katholischen Kirche genießt der greise Priester das Vertrauen von Papst Benedikt XVI. und rühmt sich, mindestens 70.000 erfolgreiche Teufelsaustreibungen vorgenommen zu haben. Der italienischen Tageszeitung "La Stampa" erzählte er seine Version des rätselhaften Verschwindens der damals 15-jährigen Emanuela Orlandi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Tedeschi als Chef der Vatikanbank abgesetzt

ROM
Spiegel (Deutschland)

Keine drei Jahre hat er es an der Spitze der Vatikanbank IOR ausgehalten: Nach einem Misstrauensvotum ist Ettore Gotti Tedeschi nun als Präsident abgelöst worden. Gegen ihn wird wegen Geldwäsche ermittelt. Von seinem Nachfolger hat der Heilige Stuhl schon genaue Vorstellungen.

Rom - Im September 2009 war Ettore Gotti Tedeschi angetreten, um die Vatikanbank IOR in das globale Zeitalter zu führen. Papst Benedikt XVI. hatte den langjährigen Italien-Chef der spanischen Banco Santander an die Spitze der IOR berufen, um Klarheit in die Geschäfte bringen - doch Tedeschi schaffte offenbar das Gegenteil.

Schon seit November 2010 steht der 67-Jährige gemeinsam mit einem weiteren Top-Manager unter dem Verdacht der Geldwäsche. Den Männern wird vorgeworfen, gegen die in Italien gültigen Anti-Geldwäsche-Standards verstoßen zu haben.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 PM

Dublin abuse stats: Most allegations against priests were from 1980s

IRELAND
Catholic News Service

By Michael Kelly
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN (CNS) -- A new analysis of allegations of abuse made against 98 priests over a 70-year period shows that the alleged abuse peaked in the 1980s.

Fresh data released by the Dublin Archdiocese May 24 showed that 34 percent of complainants alleged their abuse happened in the 1980s. Just 1 percent of claims relate to alleged abuse in the period from 2000 to 2010.

The update also shows that the cost, so far, to the archdiocese for settlement of claims regarding child sexual abuse by priests is currently stands at $19 million, approximately $13 million of which is compensation and the remainder legal costs paid for both sides.

The latest data is the first time that the archdiocese has provided a detailed breakdown on when reported abuse is alleged to have taken place. It shows that of the 98 priests accused of abuse, approximately 2 percent of these priests are alleged to have abuse in the 1940s, 4 percent in the 1950s, 23 percent in the 1960s, 27 percent in the 1970s, 34 percent in the 1980s, 9 percent in the 1990s and 1 percent in the 2000s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

10 worst abusers attacked an average of 36 children each - Dublin Catholic Archdiocese report

IRELAND
RTE News

The ten worst-known clerical abusers in the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin are alleged to have abused an average of 36 children each, according to its Annual Child Protection Update.

Five of them have been convicted in the courts. Three of these - along with two who have no convictions - are being supervised by the diocese. Two of the ten have died.

The allegations date back as far as the 1940s.

The Annual Child Protection Update from the Archdiocese of Dublin also states that half the allegations against a total of 98 of its priests relate to abuse alleged to have occurred in the 1960s and 70s, while one in three relate to the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:12 PM

Religious liberty concerns, charter report on tap for bishops' meeting

UNITED STATES
Catholic Sentinel

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — With a long-standing campaign to press its concerns about infringements on religious liberty by governments and the courts, the U.S. bishops will devote a significant portion of their spring meeting June 13-15 in Atlanta to the issue.

The bishops also will receive a 10-year progress report by the National Review Board on the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" and hear recommendations from the review board stemming from the study "The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 PM

Archdiocese details scale of abuse cases

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY, Religious Affairs Correspondent

Allegations of child sexual abuse were reported this past year against four priests of the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin who were not previously the subject of complaints, it has emerged.

A suspicion of child sexual abuse was raised against one priest of the archdiocese who was not previously the subject of complaints.

There have been, to date, 199 civil actions taken against 46 priests of the archdiocese. Of these 135 have been concluded and 64 are ongoing. Costs, so far, to the archdiocese in the settlement of claims concerning clerical child sexual abuse is currently €15.2 million (€10.3 m in settlements and €4.9 m in legal costs for both sides).

Ten priests or former priests of the archdiocese have been convicted in the criminal courts.

The total number of priests of the archdiocese against whom allegations of child sexual abuse have been recorded is now 98. This relates to a period of over 70 years during which approximately 1,350 priests served in Dublin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Pastor accused of sexually abusing 16-year-old boy

FLORIDA
13 News

By Kelli Cook and Amanda Evans, Team Coverage

KISSIMMEE --
A teenage boy said he was inappropriately touched by his pastor, a man he trusted like his father.

Now, investigators in Osceola County said there may be more young victims who were lured into sexual acts with Angel Perez, the pastor of Templo Pentecostal, in Kissimmee.

According to a statement the victim gave police during the investigation, the 16-year-old said his mother did not want him to report the abuse.

He said his mother told him that she would go to jail and his younger siblings would be taken away by the Department of Children and Families if he told anyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

1in6 Thursday: Into Each Life…A Little Rain

UNITED STATES
Joyful Heart Foundation

Peter Pollard

The commencement speaker at my niece’s graduation this past weekend startled some in the audience when he noted that having to overcome adversity is a normal part of a achieving a fulfilling life.

I was reminded of my own rocky road to a college education and how critical it was for me to address my history of childhood sexual abuse before I could confidently pursue that or any other dream. As he spoke, I found myself thinking about the chasm between the poles of feelings of isolation and feelings of connection, of powerlessness and competence, failure and success, of shame and of pride and the process of healing that made it possible for me to move from one to the other.

I was just 18 when I dropped out of college in 1969. The world that year offered lots of legitimate reasons for challenging authority and for dismissing traditional concepts of success. My beliefs then certainly weren’t hollow or invalid. But the energy with which I immersed myself in my rebel identity served a much more personal purpose than simply changing the world.

What I know now with certainty (and didn’t recognize even slightly then) is that all my thinking, all my attitudes, all my decisions in those early years of adulthood were strongly influenced by my reaction to the sexual abuse I’d experienced at the hands of a trusted mentor, just a few years earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:13 PM

Brighton priest bailed by court over sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Brighton and Hove News

A priest who worked in Brighton and Hove has appeared in court charged with sexually abusing two boys more than 20 years ago.

Father Wilkie Denford, 77, of Broad Reach Mews, Shoreham, answered bail at Mid Sussex Magistrates’ Court in Haywards Heath.

He appeared alongside church organist, Michael Mytton, 68, of South Road, East Chiltington, near Ditchling, who was charged with aiding and abetting Denford on one occasion in or near Cuckfield.

The pair were remanded on bail until Tuesday 3 July.

The Church of England minister is accused of indecently assaulting a boy under 16 on three occasions between June 1987 and January 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Catholic on Catholic civil war brewing

UNITED STATES
Salon

Tom Frier

A house doesn't have to fall on my head to tell me a battle royal is brewing within the Catholic Church over the conservative hierarchy's heavy-handed efforts to clamp down on dissenting Catholic voices. Not when a prominent American nun comes "this close" to calling the present Church leadership a bunch of brown-frocked fascists. Or when a parish priest I know gives the sister a thumbs up and pastes her angry, anguished outcry to his Facebook page.

And now, according to the Washington Post's E.J. Dionne, a group of progressive-leaning bishops who've so far held their tongues are starting to speak out against their reactionary colleagues who seem determined to yank the Church far to the right and make Catholicism little more than an auxiliary of the Republican Party in its campaign against President Obama.

Lawsuits brought this week by 43 Catholic organizations and 13 dioceses seeking to overturn the Obama administration's decision to mandate insurance coverage for contraception for employees at Catholic-run schools and hospitals were seen as provocative and premature by the vast majority of the nation's 195 diocese that did not want to go to court, according to Dionne.

The bishops in these dioceses, says Dionne, "are upset that the lawsuits were brought without a broader discussion among the entire membership of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops," many of whom object that the leadership is "aligning the institutional Church too closely with the political right."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Richtlijnen tegen pedofilie

ROME
RKnieuws (Nederland)

ROME (RKnieuws.net) - De Italiaanse bisschoppenconferentie heeft dinsdag tijdens haar algemene vergadering haar richtlijnen tegen pedofilie gepubliceerd. De bescherming van de minderjarigen en de zorg voor de slachtoffers van seksueel misbruik staan daarbij centraal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Child Protection Update 2012

IRELAND
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin

The Child Safeguarding and Protection Service (CSPS) of the Archdiocese of Dublin has published its annual Child Protection Update – giving statistical information on child sexual abuse by priests in the Dublin Diocese.

Speaking at a briefing on the CSPS report, Director of the Service Andrew Fagan said the Diocese provided regular updates on its work and made them publically available. He said this exercise is vital in keeping the public informed and reassured of the ongoing efforts to maintain high standards in child safeguarding.

New information, compiled following an extensive internal review of the work of the service was made available which details the extent of abuse carried out by 10 serial abusers. The figures also show a sharp decline in the level of incidents of abuse recorded since the 1980’s.

Mr. Fagan said that despite years of reports, guidelines and training both inside and outside the Church, many people still had a skewed perception of what Safeguarding children in the Catholic Church involves. “There are a number of key messages, which it is important for people to understand,” said Mr. Fagan, “In Dublin, child safeguarding operates to a high standard and Dublin parishes are now safer places for children. While the majority of allegations of abuse reported to us now, relate to sexual abuse which may have occurred many years ago, it is still crucial to be vigilant and to work to ensure standards are maintained,” said Mr. Fagan.

Andrew Fagan added that the Archdiocese of Dublin is one of just a small number of organisations in Ireland, North and South, which supervises men who are deemed a risk to children. The service, while not without its limitations, aims to minimise the risk of these men offending again and is more extensive than services currently provided by the State.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

One in every 14 Dublin priests accused of child abuse

IRELAND
The Journal

ROUGHLY ONE IN every 14 priests serving in Dublin over the last 70 years has been the subject of child abuse allegations, according to figures released by the archdiocese.

And fresh allegations continue to arise. In the last year accusations have been made against four priests who were not previously the subject of allegations, with suspicions raised over a fifth.

Ninety-eight priests have been accused of sexually abusing children since the 1940s. During this time around 1,350 priests have served in the diocese – meaning that seven per cent of the total, or just over one in 14, have had child abuse allegations made against them.

The figures are contained in the annual Child Protection Update released by the Archdiocese of Dublin today. It shows a sharp decline in abuse allegations since the 1980s, when they peaked after rising through the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Vatican bank chief ousted in no-confidence vote

VATICAN CITY
The Sacramento Bee

By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May. 24, 2012

VATICAN CITY -- The president of the Vatican bank was effectively ousted Thursday after receiving a unanimous vote of no-confidence from bank overseers for having leaked documents and failed to do his job at a critical time in the Holy See's efforts to show transparency in its finances, the Vatican and officials said.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi has been a polarizing figure in the Vatican ever since he was named president of the bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, in 2009. He is being investigated on suspicion of money laundering by Italian magistrates, but the investigation isn't believed to have factored into the decision since the Vatican considers the investigation to be motivated by outside political interests.

In a statement Thursday, the Holy See said the vote was taken because of Tedeschi's failure to fulfill the "primary functions of his office." He himself has told prosecutors that he barely paid attention to the bank's works, showing up only two days a week while tending to his primary position as head of Spain's Banco Santander's Italian unit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

10 million euro for abuse victims

IRELAND
Kilkenny People

Published on Wednesday 23 May 2012

More than ten million euro in compensation has been paid out to victims of paedophile priests in the Dublin area.

Allegations of child abuse have been made against almost 100 priests in the archdiocese over the last 70 years, with more than a third from the 1980s. Complaints were lodged against five clergy who had never been subject to previous allegations in the last 12 months, according to Dublin's church watchdog.

Andrew Fagan, director of services with the Child Safeguarding and Protection Service in Dublin, said there were ongoing efforts to maintain high standards in child safety.

"In Dublin, child safeguarding operates to a high standard and Dublin parishes are now safer places for children," he said. "While the majority of allegations of abuse reported to us now, relate to sexual abuse which may have occurred many years ago, it is still crucial to be vigilant and to work to ensure standards are maintained."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

President Of Vatican Bank Forced To Resign

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Staff Reporter

May 24, 2012

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the president of the Institute for Works of Religion , commonly known as the Vatican Bank, has been forced to resign after the board of directors issued a no-confidence vote.

A source in the bank did not provide the reasons behind the dismissal, according to Reuters.

Father Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the Vatican, said the Holy See, will release statement about the bank soon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:38 PM

Vatican bank president ousted by board-source

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

VATICAN CITY | Thu May 24, 2012

May 24 (Reuters) - Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, the Italian president of the Vatican bank, has been ousted by the banks board of directors after a no-confidence vote, a senior Vatican source told Reuters on Thursday.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, gave no details of the reasons for the no-confidence vote in Gotti Tedeschi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:35 PM

Leider priesterorde verborg schandaal

ROME
Friesch Dagblad (Nederland)

Rome | Het hoofd van de Legionairs van Christus heeft gisteren erkend dat hij al verscheidene jaren wist dat de beroemdste priester van zijn congregatie in strijd met het celibaat een kind had verwekt. De man, Thomas Williams, kon blijven doceren. Ook kon de hij op de Amerikaanse televisie uitleg blijven geven over de leer van de kerk. Alvaro Corcuera zegt dat hij de Williams had gevraagd geleidelijk zijn publieke functies op te geven, maar erkent dat hij te weinig daadkracht heeft getoond. De Legionairs leiden katholieke scholen en liefdadigheidsorganisaties in 22 landen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:33 PM

In His Own Defense: At Philly Abuse Trial, The Secretary Takes the Stand

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Whispers in the Loggia

Not long after Msgr William Lynn became the first US church official to be charged with facilitating a cover-up of abuse cases, word swirled among his Philadelphia confreres that "If Bill goes down, he's taking everyone with him."

Since beginning trial in late March, the longtime Secretary for Clergy of the roiled Northeastern archdiocese has mostly sat expressionless, slumped in his chair at the defense table as a parade of witnesses and reams of Chancery files gave detailed accounts of "powder keg" priests, gut-wrenching romps by serial predators, and at least one cleric whose perceived "disobedience" was dealt with more swiftly and severely by his superiors than seemingly any had been over reports of misconduct with minors.

Today, however, it was Lynn's turn to talk. And while most of the nine-week proceeding has tended to draw a daily crowd numbering little more than a dozen spectators, this time Room 304 of the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center was full, as TV camera-crews congregated in the lobby downstairs, as they only do when major developments arise.

Even for his attorneys' early assurance that the monsignor -- who served as head of clergy personnel from 1992-2004 -- "has a story to tell," whether Lynn would take the stand has loomed as a key uncertainty in the landmark case. Yet while a "no exceptions" ban on electronic devices in the courtroom has made real-time reporting from the proceedings essentially nonexistent, word hit the street within minutes of this morning's indication inside that the lead defendant was about to testify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:30 PM

Philadelphia Monsignor Grilled on Witness Stand At Child Sex Abuse Trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
CBS Philly

By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia monsignor William Lynn, charged with child endangerment in connection with the Philadelphia priest sex abuse scandal, continued to face relentless, grueling cross-examination today.

Prosecutor Patrick Blessington asserted again and again that Monsignor Lynn has lied — to victims, to parishioners, to nuns and priests, and to the police, all to protect predator priests and to avoid negative publicity and legal action. And all, according to Blessington, at the expense of children.

Citing evidence, much of it from the church’s own secret archives and by Lynn’s own hand, Blessington has asserted through questioning that Lynn lied routinely and intentionally.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Monsignor: I didn't put list of predators in safe

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Associated Press

By MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Roman Catholic church official says he typed a list of 35 accused predator-priests on his computer, but couldn't find it 10 years later to show a Philadelphia grand jury.

Monsignor William Lynn is enduring a second day of searing cross-examination as he fights charges he endangered children by protecting priests.

Lynn denies putting the 1994 list in a locked safe at the archdiocese, where it was found in 2006.

Evidence shows it was turned over only this year, days after Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua died.

Prosecutors say the list shows the church knew it had pedophiles and other predators on duty, where they could abuse other children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Call to stand down Yeshivah teacher

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Jewel Topsfield
May 25, 2012

A MELBOURNE Jewish boys' school is under pressure to stand down one of its teachers after a magistrate found it was ''unfathomable'' he was unaware of sexual abuse at the time it allegedly occurred.

Philanthropist Moishe Gordon, a long-standing member of the Yeshivah community, said he would bankroll advertisements saying Rabbi Abraham Glick must go from Yeshivah College, where he teaches Jewish studies and is head of student wellbeing.

Rabbi Glick, who was the principal of the East St Kilda school at the time of most of the alleged offences, originally said he had only recently become aware of accusations that Yeshivah security guard David Samuel Cyprys had molested children. He changed his evidence under oath in the Melbourne Magistrates Court and admitted he was aware of rumours in the early 2000s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 PM

Letters and Allegations Follow Father John Patrick Feeney's Transfers

WISCONSIN
WBAY

[with video]

At the end of the civil trial against the Green Bay Catholic Diocese, Troy and Todd Merryfield released letters they say their family received or their attorneys obtained from the diocese over the years.

They say the letters prove the diocese was aware of allegations surrounding Father John Patrick Feeney, who sexually abused the brothers in the 1970s but wasn't convicted and defrocked until decades later.

After the parents of Troy and Todd Merryfield raised complaints about Father Feeney in August 1978, then-Bishop Aloysius Wycislo sent them a letter stating he "will be discussing the situation with our Personnel Board this Friday."

Bishop Wycislo followed up with a letter two weeks later stating Father Feeney would stay at the Freedom parish, but would "begin an intensive counseling program regarding his personal problems."

Then in a December 1978 letter to the diocese's Personnel Board chairman, Bishop Wycislo writes, "I have just spent a half hour with the District Attorney for Outagamie County who presented me with evidence of a number of crimes of like sexual nature... that the Attorney feels are base enough for a court case against Father Feeney."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Priester beticht van 63 nieuwe gevallen van seksueel misbruik

CANADA
RKnieuws (Nederland)

SAGENAY (RKnieuws.net) - De politie van Saguenay, ten oosten van Québec, heeft priester Paul-André Harvey opnieuw aangehouden. Hij wordt verdacht van 63 nieuwe gevallen van seksueel misbruik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:51 PM

VatiLeaks Exposes Internal Memos of the Catholic Church

ITALY
The Daily Beast

May 24, 2012

A massive information dump nicknamed ‘VatiLeaks’ has the Catholic Church sweating. Barbie Latza Nadeau talks to Gianluigi Nuzzi, the journalist exposing Pope Benedict XVI’s internal memos.

Investigative journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi first met “Maria” in the spring of 2011 at a secret rendezvous in an unfurnished apartment under the shadow of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome. He had been summoned there by secret Vatican insiders who had vetted him for weeks through banal meetings in coffee houses and cocktail bars. They followed him, checked out his friends, even set up false appointments just to observe him. When they finally trusted him, he met the informers who would betray the Catholic Church like no one before. In a massive document dump that has been dubbed “VatiLeaks,” Nuzzi managed to shed light on an institution that has been enshrined in secrecy for centuries.

For a year Nuzzi was a conduit for sensitive documents that surfaced from deep within the Roman Curia which he highlighted in his Italian television show The Untouchables. This week, he published the documents in full in a book called Sua Santita’- Le Carte Segrete di Benedetto XVI or Your Holiness: The Secret Papers Benedict XVI. He says he kept the documents on a USB key sewn into his neckties and he worried constantly that someone might try to harm him or steal them back.

Since his first television program, VatiLeaks has made a major impact in Rome. The reopening of the criminal investigation into the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee who disappeared 30 years ago, has come to symbolize the VatiLeaks scandal and a small victory for transparency in the Roman Catholic Church. And earlier this month, the Holy See conceded to allow the opening of the tomb of a notorious mobster who was interred inside a Vatican church in an unprecedented act of cooperation with Italian police who want to find the truth in the Orlandi case. “The people who provided these documents did it because they’d had enough of the lies,” Nuzzi told The Daily Beast. “They did it at great risk, and if they are ever found out, they will likely disappear without a trace.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Files documenting claims of abuse by California Franciscans made public

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Reporter

[Archive of Franciscan Sex Abuse in the Province of St. Barbara - BishopAccountability.org]

May. 24, 2012
By Catholic News Service

LOS ANGELES -- More than 8,500 pages of material detailing claims of sexual abuse by a group of Franciscan priests and brothers in California were made public Wednesday.

The release of the documents was one unfinished item of business from a 2006 court settlement that awarded $28 million, the vast majority of it from the St. Barbara Province of the Franciscan Friars and Brothers, to settle abuse claims from 25 plaintiffs.

The province, based in Oakland, used the proceeds from the sale of a closed seminary, where many of the incidents were alleged to have occurred, to help finance the settlement. The high school seminary closed in 1987.

As part of the settlement, the Franciscans agreed to let a judge review for possible public dissemination internal church documents as well as depositions in the litigation, showing how the order handled sexual abuse allegations among its clerics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Priest Wasn't Defamed by Errant Pedophilia Claim

NEW MEXICO
Courthouse News Service

By JEFF D. GORMAN

(CN) - Pedophilia allegations did not hurt a former priest's reputation, so he cannot sue for defamation, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled.

While working as a priest at the St. Francis Episcopal Church in Rio Rancho, N.M., Walter Smith III faced opposition from members of the parish and vestry, an administrative group of lay parishioners.

One of the vestry members, Will Durden, compiled and published a packet of documents that included an anonymous letter accusing Smith of several acts of pedophilia. The packet also included other personal attacks against Smith, documentation about the parish's financial problems and claims against Smith's leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Monsignor: Priest named in sex abuse case ‘did horrible things’

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

By John P. Martin
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

A prosecutor resumed his relentless attack on Msgr. William J. Lynn on Thursday morning, pounding the church official with questions and accusing him of lying to protect pedophile priests in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

For more than an hour, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington parried with Lynn, charging that the former clergy secretary repeatedly misled abuse victims, a police officer and even the grand jury formed a decade ago to investigate sex abuse by local priests.

"You didn’t care," Blessington said. "Because you were about protecting priests and you didn’t care."

Again and again, the defendant shook his head and denied any wrongdoing. He acknowledged some misstatements and mistakes, but said none were intentional.

"I’m not perfect," Lynn testified. "I’m not saying I handled all these things perfectly."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:34 PM

Magdalene group urge action

IRELAND
The Irish Times

PATSY McGARRY Religious Affairs Correspondent

Dissatisfaction with the pace of Government action when dealing with the issue of Magdalene Laundries was forcefully expressed by members of the Justice for Magdalene’s (JFM) group at Leinster House this afternoon.

Addressing a cross-party group of TDs and Senators Katherine O'Donnell of JFM recalled Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s “great speech about the Vatican” in the Dáil but pointed out that it was still the case that some women survivors of the laundries “still live in Magdalene Ireland.”

She knew three such women who were dying of cancer. They “needed an apology (from the State) urgently as well as redress and restorative justice now,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:24 AM

CBS Leads Evening News With Catholics -- The Accused Abusers, Not the Obama Litigants

UNITED STATES
NewsBusters

By Tim Graham | May 24, 2012

The CBS Evening News led with the Catholic Church on Wednesday night. It wasn’t about the 43 Catholic groups suing the Obama administration. It was yet another story on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy decades ago. CBS's newscast is the only one of the Big Three evening shows to notice the lawsuits -- for 19 seconds on Monday night.

Anchor Scott Pelley began at the top of the Wednesday broadcast: “Tonight, the Monsignor takes the stand. The highest ranking Catholic Church official ever charged in the child abuse scandal blames a higher power, the former cardinal of Philadelphia.” Pelley didn’t care that “monsignor” is not normally a “high-ranking” designation at all, just a special designation of honor for a priest. While CBS highlights the Catholic sex-abuse allegations in Philadelphia, it’s ignoring the Jewish sex-abuse story in its own hometown. As the New York Times reported:

The Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, said Wednesday that he would push for state legislation to add rabbis and other religious leaders to the list of professionals required to report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

Former diocese of Brendan Smyth to hold child safeguarding conference

IRELAND
Breaking News

A child safeguarding conference is to take place in the diocese of Kilmore, Co Cavan tonight, after a recommendation from the Church's National Board for Safeguarding Children.

It arose out of a review of safeguarding practice in the diocese, where paedophile priest Brendan Smyth was based.

Fr Smyth continued working in the Kilmore diocese for several years after allegations of child abuse had been made against him.

A recent BBC documentary claimed information about alleged abuse had been passed on to church authorities, including Cardinal Seán Brady, then Fr Brady.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Pedophile priest won't get more jail time

CALIFORNIA
San Antonio Express-News

ONTARIO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California priest convicted of child molestation won't face more jail time for violating his probation.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise (http://bit.ly/Jp9dM2 ) says the Rev. Alejandro Castillo of Ontario was sentenced Wednesday to the two weeks he's already spent in custody.

San Bernardino County probation officers arrested him earlier this month because children were present at his April birthday party. Authorities say it was a surprise party and Castillo didn't know children would be there but he should have left immediately.

He didn't talk to or touch the children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Ex-Cumbrian vicar at crown court charged with sex offences

UNITED KINGDOM
News & STar

A former Cumbrian vicar has appeared before a judge at Carlisle Crown Court charged with a string of sexual crimes against four schoolboys.

Ronald Johns, 74, is charged with a total of 15 offences spread over 12 years from 1979 and 1991.

He faces three charges of serious sexual assault, six counts of gross indecency and six charges of indecent assault.

All the offences were allegedly committed in Cumbria and involved four boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:35 AM

Cleveland Catholics demand Lennon reopen parish immediately

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

May. 23, 2012
By Brian Roewe

Canon lawyers representing St. Patrick Parish of Cleveland filed a motion Wednesday in Rome demanding Bishop Richard G. Lennon immediately reopen the church and restore the parish, and if he won’t, have someone else do it.

The motion is the second filed by the parish since decrees came from the Congregation for the Clergy in early March ruling in favor of St. Patrick and 11 other parishes Lennon had attempted to suppress in a string of closings in 2009.

Patricia Schulte-Singleton, a parishioner of St. Patrick and head of parish advocate group Endangered Catholics, said Lennon's delayed action is "causing distress spiritually, emotionally, economically" for the parish and its parishioners.

"There has been no timetable, no definitive action plan, so you have to wonder, When is this going to happen, is he going to stall, does he really want to do this even though he's been ordered to do it by Rome?" she said. "You have to wonder, you know, what's the deal?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

Tom Fuentes' Funeral a Parade of Pedophile Protectors and Apologists

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By Gustavo Arellano
Thu., May 24 2012

We at the Weekly had enough respect for former GOP chairman Tom Fuentes to not invade his funeral yesterday and cause a scene--but we're beholden to the truth, so damn straight we're going to blast his funeral for the parade of pedophile apologists and protectors that it was.

The main attraction, of course, was Fuentes, rotting in hell as we speak for his longtime role as the communications director for the Catholic Diocese of Orange at a time where local priests were raping kiddies as if their jobs depended on it. But testifying on Fuentes' behalf were men that the Fuentes family should've kept a state away for their sick association and support of pedophiles, both of the priestly and not variety.

Roll call of the pedophile apologists!

*Giving the homily was the man who replaced Fuentes as communications director, Lawrence Baird. Baird was a notorious asshole to many sex-abuse victims, defended vile pedophile Michael Harris as "an icon to the priesthood" to the media even as the Orange diocese knew he was a pedophile rapist, and even once sued a sex-abuse victim for defamation (he lost). Yet Fuentes wanted this man to give the homily? Birds of a feather...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

Melloni: Vatileaks were intended as an attack on the Pope

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Interview with Church historian Alberto Melloni, successor of late Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Alberigo: “The Pope’s private correspondence is concordatory material”

Andrea Tornielli
Vatican City

“I don’t think there is anything new here. The problem is, who is pouring fuel on the fire and who is fanning the flames? They certainly cannot attribute this to their right to freedom of expression....” This is how Alberto Melloni Professor of History at the University of Modena, Italy and director of the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Sciences in Bologna summarised the Vatileaks case that has been causing so much mayhem in the Holy See. Here, the hunt is on for the moles who stole number of documents, notes and letters, sending them to Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of “Sua Santità. Le carte segrete di Benedetto XVI” (His Holiness. Benedict XVI’s secret letters)

What do you make of the “Vatileaks” saga?

In my opinion it is an attack against the Pope by those who wish to tell him: you were wrong in your choice of Secretary of State and you were wrong not to substitute him...”

Are there any previous cases that bear a comparison to this one?

“No, I don’t think so. I must say that the book does not reveal anything massively new; they are not “secret letters” at all, it’s just private internal correspondence: it is clear that the aim is to prove that there is no surveillance, that anything can get out and that the archives are not properly looked after.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Priest pleads guilty to child porn charges, faces at least 5-year sentence

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

May 24, 2012

By Torsten Ove / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A suspended Catholic priest will spend at least five years in federal prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to possessing and receiving thousands of child porn images on his rectory computer.

Rev. Bartley Sorensen, 63, of St. John Fisher Church in Churchill, admitted his guilt before Senior U.S. District Judge Alan Bloch, who set sentencing for Sept. 13.

Father Sorensen faces a range of five to 30 years behind bars, but must serve at least five years.

He said nothing in court except to acknowledge Judge Bloch's questions and then waved to his two brothers in the gallery before U.S. marshals led him away in handcuffs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Priest here under inquiry surrenders in Colorado

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

BY TIM TOWNSEND • ttownsend@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8221

The Rev. Charles Manning, 77, a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, turned himself in to Colorado Springs police Tuesday after a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Police had been investigating Manning since October.

He was charged with sexual assault on a minor by a person in a position of trust, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to police.

Angie Shelton, the archdiocese's community relations specialist, said in a statement that Manning had been granted permission to move to Colorado Springs in June 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Ex-Priest Admits Sexually Assaulting 11 Boys

IRELAND
Build

Trim Circuit Court heard yesterday a former priest admit to indecently assaulting a number of boys at different locations in the diocese of Meath, including a parochial house.

77-year-old Raymond Brady admitted offences relating to 11 individuals.

When the case was called, State prosecutor Carl Hanahoe said guilty pleas were being entered in relation to 11 offences. He said these pleas were acceptable to the prosecution on the basis of full facts being heard at the sentencing hearing later this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

„Sexueller Missbrauch ist Mord an Kinderseelen“

DEUTSCHLAND
Familien-Blickpunkt

von Familien-Blickpunkt.de am 22/05/2012

Erbach (hsm) - Nach Schätzungen des Bundeskriminalamtes werden jährlich 200- bis 300 000 Kinder in Deutschland sexuell missbraucht. „Das ist Mord an Kinderseelen“, erklärte Petra Müller-Klepper, Staatssekretärin im Hessischen Sozialministerium, heute im Rahmen der Fachtagung „Sexualisierte Gewalt gegen Mädchen – Alltag!? Wahrnehmen – Erkennen – Handeln“ in Erbach. In 90 Prozent der Fälle seien die Opfer weiblich. Die Staatssekretärin forderte eine konsequente Ächtung und Bekämpfung sexualisierter Gewalt. „Die Kultur des Wegschauens oder Verschweigens muss von einer Kultur des Hinschauens und Ansprechens abgelöst werden.“

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Mental health services inadequate, prisons below standards – Amnesty

IRELAND
The Journal

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL HAS said that the provision of mental health services in Ireland continued to be inadequate in 2011 and has said that conditions in the country’s prisons continue to fall below standards.

In its annual report on human rights in 155 countries and territories, the organisation also criticised the United Nations Security Council, saying it has failed to show the kind of courage that ordinary people have showed during the Arab Spring last year.

For Ireland, Amnesty raised concerns about the lack of prosecutions in the reported cases of violence against children in the State’s religious-run institutions.

It noted the publication of the Cloyne report which said that two-thirds of allegations about clerical sex abuse in the diocese between 1996 and 2009 were not forwarded to Gardaí.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Jackson County hearing set in case against bishop, diocese

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star

A Jackson County judge on Wednesday set a June hearing to hear lawyers discuss evidence questions in the misdemeanor case against Kansas City’s Catholic bishop and the diocese he serves.

Judge John Torrence blocked out two hours for arguments at the June 15 hearing, according to Jackson County court records.

Bishop Robert W. Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City St. Joseph each face one count of failure to report suspicions of child abuse. The charges relate to how they handled the Rev. Shawn Ratigan case between December 2010 and May 2011.

Ratigan faces state and federal child pornography charges related to dozens of lewd photos of young girls that diocesan leaders found on his laptop computer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Depraved warden 'wrestled boy in underpants'

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

WESTERN Australia's inquiry into child abuse at state-run boarding houses has been told of yet another depraved warden.

The inquiry, led by former Supreme Court Justice Peter Blaxell, has focused previously on events at the St Andrew's Hostel in Katanning in the 1970s and 80s, where convicted pedophile brothers Dennis and Neil McKenna abused children in their care.

Details emerged on Wednesday of the bizarre behaviour of the late Roy Wenlock, who was warden at St Christopher's Hostel at Northam, 100km northeast of Perth, from 1963 until 1977 when he was forced to resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Hostel abuse victim 'tried to kill warden'

AUSTRALIA
9 News

A young victim of sexual abuse at a state-run boarding hostel in Western Australia says he tried to kill the warden who indecently assaulted him.

The victim, who was identified as "L" at an inquiry into events at the new defunct St Christopher's Hostel in Northam from 1963 until 1977, also said he lost all faith in organised religion as a result of the abuse but still believed in god.

The inquiry centres on the bizarre behaviour of the late Roy Wenlock, who was the warden at the facility during this period until he was forced to resign.

Mr Wenlock, who was never charged or convicted of any sexual offence, would bring boys into his unit at the hostel and force them to wrestle with him in their underpants or with their shirts off in acts described by counsel assisting the inquiry, Philip Urquhart, as "simulated sexual intercourse".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Inquiry hears Anglican Bishop knew about abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

Updated May 24, 2012

An inquiry investigating sexual abuse by a warden at a state-run hostel in regional Western Australia, has heard an Anglican Bishop knew about the warden's alleged behaviour a year before he was sacked.

Roy Wenlock was the warden at Saint Christopher's Hostel in Northam for 14 years during the 1960s and 70s.

The inquiry has been told he indecently assaulted boys until he was forced to resign in 1977.

Former boarders of the hostel have told the inquiry it was common knowledge among them that Wenlock was sexually abusing boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Minister holds out faith decades-old Hub church will reopen

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Herald

By Erin Smith
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Vatican yesterday rejected bids from local groups to stave off the shuttering of a half-dozen Hub area churches, ruling that the Archdiocese of Boston has proven its case for closing the parishes.

The news came as just the latest blow in a seven-year battle by impassioned parishioners such as Lorenzo Grasso, a Eucharistic minister who has worshipped at one of the churches, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, for more than four decades.

Grasso is holding out one last hope that his beloved East Boston church will be spared in a final appeal to the higher Vatican Court, the Apostolic Signatura. But last night, he took time with Herald reporter Erin Smith to reflect on what Our Lady of Mount Carmel has meant to him and his family.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Members of closed parishes vow to fight on

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

May 23, 2012|Lisa Wangsness

Parishioners of a half-dozen closed Roman Catholic churches fighting to reopen their parishes for many as eight years have suffered another setback, but they are not ready to give up yet.

A Vatican department has rejected all six groups’ appeals of a decision by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, the archbishop of Boston, to make the churches available for nonreligious use.

But five of the six churches plan to appeal to the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court, according to their representatives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Cleveland Catholics demand Lennon reopen parish immediately

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

May. 23, 2012
By Brian Roewe

In Rome today (May 23), canon lawyers representing St. Patrick Parish of Cleveland, Ohio filed a motion demanding Bishop Richard G. Lennon immediately re-open the church and restore the parish, and if he won’t, have someone else do it.

The motion, a copy (translated from Italian) obtained by NCR, is the second filed by the parish since decrees came from the Congregation for the Clergy in early March ruling in favor of St. Patrick and 11 other parishes that Lennon had attempted to suppress during a string of closings in 2009.

Patricia Schulte-Singleton, a parishioner of St. Patrick and head of parish advocate group Endangered Catholics, said Lennon’s delaying action is “causing distress spiritually, emotionally, economically” for the parish and its parishioners.

“There has been no timetable, no definitive action plan, so you have to wonder when is this going to happen, is he going to stall, does he really want to do this even though he’s been ordered to do it by Rome,” she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Vatican denies bid to keep Boston Catholic churches open

MASSACHUSETTS
The Christian Century

May 23, 2012 by G. Jeffrey MacDonald

Religion News Service BOSTON (RNS) Groups of Boston-area Catholics who have waged an eight-year battle to block the sale of parish buildings are running out of options as the Vatican has rejected their appeals.

In rulings dated March through May, Rome's Congregation for the Clergy upheld the Archdiocese of Boston's plans to convert six parish buildings from sacred to profane (non-church) use.

Now parishioners, including vigil keepers who've occupied two church buildings round-the-clock since a wave of parish closures began in 2004, must decide whether to appeal one more time to the Vatican's top court.

Five of the six groups are resolving to fight on, according to Peter Borre, co-founder of the Council of Parishes, which represents members of closed parishes. A sixth, St. Jeanne d'Arc in Lowell, has not yet decided on next steps, Borre said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Top Priest: 'Did Best I Could'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Wall Street Journal

By PETER LOFTUS

PHILADELPHIA—A monsignor accused of covering up allegations that Roman Catholic priests sexually abused children testified at his trial Wednesday he had limited authority to take action against the priests he supervised, and was carrying out directions from his superiors.

"I did the best I could within the parameters that were given to me," said Msgr. William Lynn, who served as secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, a job that involved investigating abuse complaints against priests.

Msgr. Lynn took the witness stand for the first time Wednesday, nearly two months after the start of his trial on charges of endangering the welfare of children and conspiracy, to which he pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say Msgr. Lynn failed to keep certain priests out of assignments involving contact with children, despite being aware of prior allegations of abuse or improper conduct against them. The monsignor doesn't face abuse allegations himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Church Official Testifies at His Philadelphia Trial

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The New York Times

By JON HURDLE

PHILADELPHIA — Msgr. William J. Lynn took the stand on Wednesday in a landmark trial to defend himself against allegations that he failed to prevent fellow Roman Catholic priests from abusing children during his tenure as secretary for clergy at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The most senior Catholic Church official in the United States to be tried on charges related to sexual abuse of children, Monsignor Lynn said that he had little authority to discipline accused priests and that power rested mainly with his superiors.

Asked by a defense lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom, whether he had the power to dismiss priests who were accused of abusing children, Monsignor Lynn replied that he could do so only if pedophilia had been diagnosed or “if they had admitted sexual abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Monsignor says abusive priests 'pretty sick'

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Associated Press

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Philadelphia --

A Roman Catholic church official conceded that a 1994 list he compiled of 35 priests suspected of sexually abusing children in the Philadelphia archdiocese included some "pretty sick individuals."

Monsignor William Lynn took the stand in his defense Wednesday in a groundbreaking child-endangerment and conspiracy case. Prosecutors blame Lynn for helping keep those priests and many more in ministry, where they had access to countless other children.

Lynn testified that the head of the archdiocese forbade staff from telling accusers their alleged abuser had other victims. He said the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua wouldn't let parishes announce the real reason an accused priest was being removed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Brooklyn D.A. Wants To Make Rabbis Report Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
New York Magazine

By Margaret Hartmann

Brooklyn district attorney Charles Hynes has announced that he'll push for a state law adding rabbis and other religious leaders to the list of professionals required to report allegations of sexual abuse to the authorities. Presumably, this has nothing to do with the Jewish Daily Forward reporting that Hynes was hiding the names of ultra-Orthodox Jews accused of sex crimes and the ensuing New York Times exposé.

Hynes became the subject of intense media scrutiny after he refused to release the names of 85 ultra-Orthodox Jews arrested for sex crimes, due to the "very tight-knit and insular" nature of the Brooklyn community. He was accused of having a far too cozy relationship with leaders of the religious community, and being more lenient with ultra-Orthodox Jewish abusers than others accused of sex crimes. Now Hynes is changing his tune. Last week he revealed plans for a crack down on witness intimidation in child sexual abuse cases in the ultra-Orthodox community (an idea proposed by former Mayor Ed Koch, who publicly criticized Hynes), and declaring that rabbis and other religious leaders should be mandatory reporters of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Notting Hill sexual assault victim praised after conviction of priest

UNITED KINGDOM
Kensington and Chelsea Chronicle

Posted by Greg Burns on May 24

A NOTTING Hill woman has been praised by police for taking the witness stand in a court case against a priest who sexually assaulted her.

The 59-year-old woman was a parishioner at the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church of St Mary of Debre Tsion, in Battersea.

The church was led by Gebrehana Semre (pictured) who subsequently used his position to visit the woman in September 2010 to bless her home and welcome her into the church.

He told her that for the blessing to be successful she would need to be naked. Although uncomfortable with his demand, the victim trusted the clergyman and went along with it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Church abuse victims seek information, not money

APPLETON (WI)
The Northwestern

Written by
Jim Collar
Gannett Wisconsin Media

APPLETON — Two brothers who were sexually assaulted at the hands of a priest in 1978 said their civil lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay was about bringing long-held secrets to light, not money.

Todd and Troy Merryfield, who dropped a claim Wednesday seeking punitive damages, the awards handed down in civil cases as punishment for wrongdoing.

They explained pulling back the church’s “veil of secrecy” was far more important than the $700,000 they were awarded already in the lawsuit after a jury decided Tuesday the church had covered up its knowledge of sexual abuse committed by the Rev. John Feeney before he abused the Merryfields.

The Merryfields implored the diocese to make public all it knows about past sexual abuses committed by clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

Prosecutor Seeks to Force Rabbis to Report on Abuse

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By RAY RIVERA

Published: May 23, 2012

The Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, said Wednesday that he would push for state legislation to add rabbis and other religious leaders to the list of professionals required to report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities.

The move comes as Mr. Hynes, the city’s longest-serving district attorney, has come under intense scrutiny for his handling of sexual abuse cases in the politically powerful ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. A recent article in The New York Times showed that Mr. Hynes did not object when Agudath Israel of America, an organization representing various Hasidic and other ultra-Orthodox factions, told him last summer that it was instructing adherent Jews to get permission from a rabbi before reporting allegations of sexual abuse to the authorities.

Brooklyn is home to the largest concentration of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside of Israel. The issue of child sexual abuse has divided the community in recent years, and Mr. Hynes has become a central figure in the drama. Victims’ advocates accuse him of bending to the will of the rabbis, many of whom have long insisted that crimes like sexual abuse be handled by rabbinical authorities, who often do not report their findings to the police or prosecutors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

The sins of the fathers

CANADA
The Cape Breton Post

Published on May 23, 2012
Staff ~ The Cape Breton Post

Retired religious studies professor Charles MacDonald presented a series of talks earlier this year on the troubled state of the Roman Catholic Church and how the Church might be resuscitated.

In a recent letter to the editor, Pat Bates quoted MacDonald as describing the Church of yesterday in this way: “Power rested with the pastors in their glebe houses and the bishop in his residence. The lay people were passive — in their place — the pews.”

The pendulum has swung, and the obsequious parishioner of yesteryear is increasing rare, due in no small part to an ever-widening picture of the repugnant actions of some of those former worthies.

Locally, anxiety among parishioners was originally borne out of ever-increasing sexual abuse allegations — and convictions — against priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

New Bend Bishop Addresses Toughest Issue

BEND (OR)
KTVZ

[with video]

By John Hendricks, KTVZ.COM

BEND, Ore. -- In light of a case now in the court system, the biggest challenge for newly ordained Bishop Liam Cary of the Diocese of Baker has ahead of him is making sure his new diocese is compliant with a charter that was put in place to protect kids from sexual abuse.

Over the years, dozens of sex abuse cases involving Catholic priests and children have come to light nationally, four within the Diocese of Baker.

Cary, who was ordained last Friday, is taking that role at an interesting time.

A 2011 report by the United Conference of Catholic Bishops said the Baker Diocese was one of two that refused to be audited for a program designed to curb sexual abuse within the church.

Since the report was published, Bishop Cary says things have changed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Judge rules for Catholic Diocese in alleged privacy invasion

TULSA (OK)
Tulsa World

By BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Published: 5/24/2012

Tulsa County District Judge Daman H. Cantrell ruled Monday in favor of Bishop Edward J. Slattery and the Diocese of Tulsa in a lawsuit filed against them by an alleged victim of sexual abuse and his father.

"This is the end of the case, unless there is an appeal," said attorney Joel Wohlgemuth, who represented Slattery and the diocese.

He said the judge granted his motion for summary judgment, ruling in favor of the defendants after determining that there were no disputed facts in the case that would require a jury trial.

Kelly Kirk and his father, Gordon Kirk, alleged that Slattery and the diocese inflicted intentional emotional distress on them. Kelly Kirk also alleged invasion of privacy.

The accusations stem from a 2002 slander lawsuit against the Kirks filed by the Rev. Paul Eichhoff, a priest in the diocese. As a result of that lawsuit, the Kirks' names were made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Files documenting claims of abuse by California Franciscans made public

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Georgia Bulletin

[Archive of Franciscan Sex Abuse in the Province of St. Barbara - BishopAccountability.org]

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- More than 8,500 pages of material detailing claims of sexual abuse by a group of Franciscan priests and brothers in California were made public May 23. The release of the documents was one unfinished item of business from a 2006 court settlement that awarded $28 million, the vast majority of it from the St. Barbara Province of the Franciscan Friars and Brothers, to settle abuse claims from 25 plaintiffs. The province, based in Oakland, used the proceeds from the sale of a closed seminary, where many of the incidents were alleged to have occurred, to help finance the settlement. The high school seminary closed in 1987. As part of the settlement, the Franciscans agreed to let a judge review for possible public dissemination internal church documents as well as depositions in the litigation, showing how the order handled sexual abuse allegations among its clerics. None of the six priests and three brothers cited in the documents are in active ministry. Some are dead. Others are living at Franciscan residences and restricted from leaving the grounds unaccompanied. In the archive are personnel, psychological, confidential and laicization files, as well as witness depositions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

"The Defense Calls Monsignor Lynn"